Press Releases

Welsh Cross Party Group Highlights Impact of Crime on Retailers and their Staff

Representatives from the retail sector have told the Cross Party Group on Small Shops in Wales of the serious human and financial cost of crimes committed against retailers and the people working in stores.

The meeting of the CPG on Small Shops heard from representatives from the Association of Convenience Stores, the Welsh Retail Consortium, the Shopworkers Union USDAW and Gwent Police on the impact of shop theft, violence and abuse on the retail sector, as well as ways that the police and justice system can do more to tackle and prevent retail crime.

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UK Forecourt Sector Employs 95,000 People; Generates Over £4.1bn in Last Year

The 2018 Forecourt Report has revealed the essential role that the UK's 8,418 forecourts play in the lives of consumers, the improvements that forecourts are making in their businesses, and the challenges they face in the future.

The report details the investment that forecourt stores are making in improving their offering to customers through new technologies, more efficient refrigeration and a wider food offer, with over £11,000 invested per store on average.

Other key findings from the report include:

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ACS Calls for Retention of Access to Cash for Consumers and Businesses

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has submitted evidence to the Access to Cash Review, which is seeking views on the cash access requirements for consumers and businesses over the next five to fifteen years.

In the submission, ACS calls for retention of the ATM network to meet the demand for cash as a form of payment. The majority of convenience stores trade in locations where they are one of a limited number of shops and services, often providing the only source of cash access for consumers.

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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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