Press Releases

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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Road to Zero: Government Should Incentivise Forecourts for Electric Charging

ACS has reiterated its calls for the government to incentivise rather than compel forecourt operators to provide electric vehicle charging points on their sites.  The Road to Zero, published this morning (9th July) by the Department for Transport, sets out the Government’s plans to see at least half of new cars be ultra low emission vehicles by 2030, including more details of the charging infrastructure that would be required to make this happen.

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ACS: Business Rates System Needs Rebalancing to Encourage Investment

ACS has responded to Chancellor Philip Hammond MP’s comments in a letter to the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, urging the Chancellor to look again at ways to incentivise investment.

In the letter, the Chancellor set out the Government’s intention to keep the calculation of business rates as it is, stating that there was ‘no consensus on an alternative base’ for the calculation of rates bills. However, Mr Hammond acknowledges that the Government needs ‘to find a better way of taxing the digital economy’.

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Welsh AMs Launch New Report on Supporting Entrepreneurship

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops has released the findings of its Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry, recommending new ways that the Welsh Government and local authorities can help entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow, including an ‘Entrepreneurs Test’ to ensure that new regulations do not have unforeseen negative impacts and reform of the business rates system to incentivise investment and not restrict business growth.

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Scottish Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan: Proposals Should Consider Impact on Small Shops

ACS has responded to the publication of the Scottish Government’s Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, ‘A Healthier Future’, calling on the Scottish Government to consider the impact of their proposals on small shops.

The new plan aims to halve the rates of childhood obesity by 2030 by including actions to ensure that the food environment supports healthier choices.

Measures announced for consultation later this year in the Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan include:

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