Press Releases

Home Office, Police and Fuel Retailers Unite to Tackle Fuel Theft

The Home Office, fuel retailers and police have come together to tackle the £36 million annual cost of fuel theft on the UK’s petrol forecourts.

The impact that fuel theft is having on the sector has sparked industry groups, including the Association of Convenience Stores, the Petrol Retailers Association and the Downstream Fuel Association into action to develop new guidance to support fuel retailers in training their staff to prevent drive offs and report incidents to the police using a new standard reporting form.

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ACS Welcomes £10m Welsh Rate Relief Package for Retailers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the Welsh Government’s approach to fund High Street Relief for retailers who will be adversely affected as a result of the revaluation.

The Welsh Government have stated that the £10m relief scheme to support high street businesses will support almost 15,000 businesses whose rates are set to increase in April. Eligible retailers will receive up to £1,500 off their non-domestic rate bill if they have a rateable value of £50,000 or less in the 2017-18 financial year.

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Government Business Rates Income Forecast to Reach £23.8bn by 2018

ACS has responded to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, calling on the Chancellor to make business rates fairer for the convenience sector.

The Department has forecast net business rates income to rise from £22.4bn in 2015-16 to £23.5bn in 2016-17 and then 23.8bn in 2017-18.

Research published in the Times has suggested that many internet distribution warehouses are set to see their rates bills fall as a result of the revaluation, while one in three convenience stores face an increase in business rates in April.

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Budget 2017: ACS Calls for Business Rates System to Incentivise Investment

The Association of Convenience Stores has submitted evidence to the Treasury ahead of the 2017 Budget, calling on the Chancellor to take action to make the business rates system fairer for retailers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The current business rates system penalises rate-payers that want to invest in their store to improve their offering for customers. We want to see a rates system that incentivises investment and allows stores to offset investments against their rates bills.

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Welsh Local Shop Report: Independent Retailers Crucial to Welsh Convenience Sector

The Association of Convenience Stores’ 2017 Welsh Local Shop Report reveals the essential contribution that convenience stores make to the Welsh economy, generating £309m in sales and employing 25,000 people.

The report demonstrates the importance of independent retailers in Wales, with 89% of stores being small businesses. Convenience stores in Wales also have a unique reach into every community, with two thirds of stores located in rural and isolated areas.

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Tesco and Booker Announce Merger

Tesco and Booker Group have announced a merger in a deal estimated to be worth £3.7bn.

Responding to the announcement, ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said:

“The Tesco and Booker merger is a hugely significant deal that demonstrates how important independent convenience stores are to the UK retail market.  Ten years ago, pundits were forecasting the demise of independent retailers at the hands of big competitors like Tesco, so the decision by Tesco to invest in supplying those same retailers shows that the independent sector is highly relevant and sustainable.

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ONS Crime Figures Reveal Shop Theft Continues to Rise

The Office for National Statistics have released its annual figures on shoplifting, showing a 5% increase, the highest volume of shop theft since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2003.

The figures show that there were approximately 349,296 incidents of shop theft in the year ending September 2015, which is over 17,000 more incidents than the previous year.

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ACS: ‘Sector Deal’ Will Enhance Relationships Between Government and Retailers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the Government’s Green Paper on Industrial Strategy and is committed to working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop a ‘sector deal’ for the retail sector, addressing issues such as developing skills and supporting businesses to start and grow.

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More Support Needed for UK's 19,000 Rural Shops and Post Offices

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to help secure the future of the UK's 19,128 rural shops, allowing them to continue to provide essential services like the Post Office for customers that would otherwise be isolated.

The report reveals that rural shops are often the only place where customers in their local area can get essential goods and services. More than half of rural stores (59%) operate entirely on their own, with no other retail/service businesses close by.

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