Press Releases

Access to Cash Suffers Ahead of ATM Fee Cuts

New figures released today by LINK, the body that oversees the ATM network, has shown that there has been a 2% decline (1,300 ATMs) in the free-to-use ATM network. 

Between February and the start of July 2018, the number of free-to-use ATMs reduced from 54,500 to 53,200.

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Local Shop Report 2018: Flexible Working and Investment Helping Stores to Compete

The 2018 Local Shop Report has revealed that convenience retailers are countering cost increases in their business by investing in services, opening for longer and employing more people on flexible part time contracts.

Over the last year, there has been an increase in the average number of people working in stores, with the sector overall now employing almost 365,000 people, although this has been coupled with a move to colleagues working shorter hours.

Key findings from this year’s report include:

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Government Launches Consultation on Banning Energy Drink Sales to Children

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on proposals to end the sale of energy drinks to children.

The consultation proposes that a ban would apply to drinks (excluding tea and coffee) that contain more than 150mg of caffeine. Under existing labelling rules, drinks that fall into this category require a warning label saying: ‘High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women.’

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Payment Systems Regulator Launches Market Review into Card Payment Fees

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the publication of terms of reference for a market review into the supply of card payment services from the Payment Systems Regulator.

The review will look at the fees that are charged to merchants (retailers) by acquirers such as WorldPay, Barclaycard and others. This fee, known as the merchant service charge rate, includes the interchange fee (capped by EU regulations), profit for the acquirer, and card scheme fees which are currently unregulated.

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C-Sector Bodies Give Evidence to Low Pay Commission on Impact of Wage Increases

Trade associations representing the UK convenience sector have given oral evidence to the Low Pay Commission, detailing how retailers have responded to recent increases in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage.

The evidence session featured the Association of Convenience Stores, the Scottish Grocers Federation and Retail NI providing information to the Commission on how wage increases have impacted productivity in the sector, the impact on employment practices, and how wage increases have affected other areas of the business such as the price of goods.

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ONS Figures Reveal 3% Increase In Shop Theft over Last Year

The Office for National Statistics has released figures on crime in England and Wales for the year ending March 2018, reporting a 3% increase in the number of shop theft offences to 382,100 over the last year.

Regionally, London has seen the biggest decrease in shop theft incidents with a fall of 2%, while the North East has seen the biggest increase, with 12% more shop theft incidents than the previous year.

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ACS Welcomes LINK Revision of Interchange Fee Cuts For ATMs

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed a decision by LINK to cancel an interchange fee cut expected in 2020 and review future reductions. 

The first reduction in interchange fees enforced by LINK of five per cent (equivalent to 1.25p per transaction) took effect on 1st July 2018, with the second five per cent reduction due to take place on 1st January 2019.

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Enter the 2018 Best Small Shops Competition

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) is supporting the Best Small Shops competition (BSSC), celebrating the creativity of UK independent retailers and the key role that they play on the high street and in their local communities.

The BSSC, managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation, is open to UK independent retailers and will look at their entrepreneurial skills, community values and customer service. Retailers can enter by submitting details of their business via the online application form.

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All Party Small Shops Group Examines Impact of Interchange Fee Cuts on ATM Provision

ACS has called on LINK to be transparent about  the application of their Financial Inclusion Programme and the impact of their interchange fee cut on rural ATMs during an evidence session in Parliament.

The evidence session of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, chaired by APG Chair Ruth George MP, focused on the challenges facing free to use ATM operators in light of recent cuts to interchange fees implemented by LINK. The session included contributions from LINK, ACS, the Federation of Small Businesses, Which? and the Payment Systems Regulator.

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