ACS: Local Shops are Lifelines for Communities Across Wales

Launched today (8th December) ACS’ 2021 Welsh Local Shop Report has revealed the vital role that convenience stores play in the lives of customers and communities across Wales, particularly to those who may be more isolated or vulnerable.

Findings from the 2021 Welsh Local Shop Report show that over the last year convenience stores in Wales have invested over £30million in their businesses to ensure that they can continue to provide essential products and services to their communities, including cash machines (73%), bill payment services (77%) and a Post office (29%).

Local shops have worked tirelessly to ensure that they can continue to feed their communities safely and effectively during the pandemic, findings from the report revealed that one fifth of Welsh convenience stores offer a home grocery delivery service to their customers.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. Wales has more shops per head than any other part of mainland UK, with 63% of stores trading in rural locations
  2. Convenience stores in Wales generated over £2.8bn in sales last year
  3. 88% of independent retailers engaged in some form of community activity over the past year
  4. The average customer visits their local store around 4.20 times per week
  5. 42% of stores operate in isolated areas with no retail/service businesses close by

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops have acted as lifelines for communities in Wales and this has been particularly evident during the coronavirus pandemic as retailers have adapted and expanded their services to ensure that they can continue to feed their communities, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

The 2021 Welsh Local Shop Report was launched at a virtual event which included a discussion between Minister for Environment Lesley Griffiths MS and ACS chief executive James Lowman which reflected on how Welsh retailers have responded to the Covid-19 crisis.

ACS research assistant Phoebe Clifford presented the findings of the report, providing a comprehensive overview of the convenience sector in Wales and exploring how Welsh policymakers can support local shops in Wales.

The launch event featured a panel of leading Welsh convenience retailers who discussed the findings of the report and their experience of trading during the pandemic, the panel consisted of:

  • Matt Teague, Managing Director, Blakemore Retail
  • Matthew Hunt, Director , Filco Supermarkets Director
  • Harry Delves, Commercial Director, Tuffins Supermarkets

ACS works on devolved issues in Wales with members of the Welsh Parliament, promoting the convenience sector in Wales through the Cross Party Group on Small Shops. Janet Finch-Saunders MS has tabled a statement in the Welsh Parliament recognising the essential role played by convenience stores during the pandemic.

The full report is available to download here: 

This entry was posted by Chloe on Mon, 07/12/2020 - 15:47