Press Releases

ACS Welcomes Cap on Interchange Fees

ACS has welcomed the introduction of a cap on the fees that banks charge retailers for accepting debit and credit cards.

Interchange fees are charged by a card holder's bank to a retailer for both debit and credit card transactions. The new rules state that fees will be capped at 0.3 per cent for credit card transactions and 0.2 per cent on debit card transactions.

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ACS Calls for Strong Town Centre First Policy in Wales

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Welsh Government’s consultation on proposed changes to Planning Policy in Wales, calling for the retention of robust town centre first planning policy.

In the submission, ACS, which represents over 3,000 stores in Wales, has called for the sequential test in planning decisions to be a mandatory gateway test to ensure that developments are being considered for town centres before out of town locations.

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Autumn Statement Reaction: Uncertainty over Future of Business Rates

The Association of Convenience Stores has reacted to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, welcoming the extension of small business rate relief but raising concerns about business rates devolution and the lack of detail on overall rate reform.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to extending small business rate relief in 2016; this is a measure that helps businesses to the tune of over £1bn each year and is essential in giving local shops the opportunity to invest in their staff, property and services.

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ACS: Small Business Rate Relief Must Continue in 2016

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to figures on business rate reliefs released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government, calling for an extension of the business rate discount for small businesses.

The figures show that local authorities granted £1,061 million in relief under the Small Business Rate Relief scheme in 2014-15, up 7.7% on the previous year. Additionally, the amount of relief granted to empty premises fell 4.2% to £947m.

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ACS Warns Low Pay Commission of Living Wage Impact on Retailers

ACS has warned the Low Pay Commission that the upcoming introduction of the Living Wage will force retailers to scale back their business plans.

In an oral evidence session, ACS Head of Policy and Public Affairs Edward Woodall outlined the issues that retailers will face when having to fund a £7.20 wage rate for over 25s in their business.

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Glyn Davies MP Outlines Support for Local Retailer on Sunday Trading

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies has outlined his support for retaining the existing Sunday trading regulations in a visit to a SPAR store in his constituency.

The store owners, Matthew and Huw Jones, raised concerns about the impact that longer opening hours for larger stores on Sundays would have on their business.

The current, popular Sunday trading regulations are at risk of being removed by central Government, who want to devolve the power to set trading hours to local authorities.

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Local shops: PM wrong on Sunday trading

The Association of Convenience Stores has labelled the Prime Minister’s response to a question on Sunday trading as 'ill-informed' and 'incorrect' on key details of the current law and the debate about devolving decision-making to local authorities.

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MPs Raise Concerns about Sunday Trading Impact; Proposals Yet to be Published

MPs from a range of political parties have raised concerns in parliament about the government's plans to devolve decisions on Sunday trading to local authorities.

Many MPs were expecting the proposals to be included as an amendment to the Cities & Devolution Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday.  However, this clause was not proposed as an amendment at this stage, with ministers not confirming if and when this policy would be brought into legislation.

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ACS Welcomes Sentencing Council’s New Guidelines for Shop Theft Offences

ACS has welcomed the Sentencing Council’s new sentencing guidelines for shop theft which emphasise the emotional distress, property damage and the effect on the business when sanctioning offenders.

The guidelines, used by judges and magistrates to decide the appropriate sentence for a criminal offence, introduces a new approach to assessing the harm of shop theft to take into account the wider impact the crime has on its victims.

However, ACS raises concerns that the guidelines do not include a separate assessment for repeat offenders.

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