Press Releases

MPs and ACS Call for Universal Carrier Bag Charge

MPs have spoken out against Government plans to exclude small businesses from the 5p carrier bag charge in a parliamentary debate this morning (10th March).

In the debate, Dan Rogerson MP refused to acknowledge the concerns raised by both MPs and business groups, making no comment on the widespread support for a universal carrier bag charge.

ACS has called for all businesses to be included in the ban to ensure consistency for retailers and consumers alike. Under Government plans, businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be exempt from the ban.

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Home Affairs Select Committee Slams Out of Court Disposals

The Home Affairs select committee have criticised police use of out-of-court disposals, stating they are used inappropriately in up to 30% of cases.

In a report published today, the committee raised concerns that persistent and serious offences were being dealt with through out-of-court disposals when they ought to have been prosecuted at court. ACS research has shown that 1 in 4 shop thieves are repeat offenders, contributing to a £35m annual loss to the sector.

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Lords Committee Fails to Address Duty Fraud in EU Alcohol Strategy Report

The House of Lords European Union Committee have failed to acknowledge action against duty fraud in their recommendations on the future of the EU Alcohol Strategy.

In the report, the Committee acknowledges that alcohol duty fraud costs the Exchequer £1.3bn annually, but falls short of making any specific recommendations to tackle the problem.

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Convenience Retailers Winning Battle Against Shop Thieves

Convenience stores are fighting back against shop thieves by investing millions in crime prevention measures in their shops.

Over the last three years, the percentage of retailers who have been victims of shop theft has fallen from 91% in 2012 to 74% in 2014. The cost of shop theft to the convenience sector has also dropped significantly over the last year from £44m to £35m a year.

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Policy Exchange Report Claims Shop Theft Has Been 'Decriminalised'

A report released today by the influential think tank Policy Exchange has suggested that shop theft has been 'decriminalised' because of a weak response from courts and police.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "Shop theft is one of the biggest operational challenges retailers face and it's frustrating when we see repeat offenders getting away with fines. The only way to tackle shop theft effectively is by encouraging police and retailers to work closely together and prevent reoffending with tougher sanctions for repeat shop thieves."

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Trade Associations Unite to Publish Advice for Retailers About High Strength Alcohol Schemes

Two of the UKs leading trade associations have joined forces to produce new guidance for retailers on schemes run by local authorities that aim to voluntarily remove high strength alcohol from sale. The Association of Convenience Stores and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association have developed the advice following concerns raised about the approach of the so called “Reducing the Strength” initiatives across the UK.

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ACS Responds to National Minimum Wage Recommended Rise to £6.70

The Low Pay Commission, the body which advises the government on minimum wage, has recommended an increase to the current national minimum wage by 3% from £6.50 to £6.70. The increase, if accepted by the government, would come into effect in October 2015.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “With inflation running at 0.5% and many prices in store going down, this cost increase will be another challenge for convenience stores particularly for those trying to take on more staff and grow their business.

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Local Shops Set Out Growth Agenda to Chancellor

In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the final Budget before the 2015 General Election, ACS has highlighted long term business rates reform, tackling the £1.3bn annual cost of duty fraud and minimising the negative impact of employment costs as the issues where local shops need to see immediate action to unlock more growth and jobs in the convenience store sector.

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Ministers Tell Councils Town Centre Developments Must Come First

In a letter to local councils, Ministers have told planning officers to use powers in the National Planning Policy Framework to deliver retail investment in town centres. Clarification of planning policy has only previously been delivered by Ministers on controversial planning issues like Greenbelt developments.

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