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The Local Shop Report

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:

  • There are 46,262 convenience stores in mainland UK
  • 75% of people working in the sector work fewer than 30 hours a week
  • The convenience sector contributed over £8.8bn in GVA over the last year, as well as over £3.6bn in direct and indirect taxes over the last year including business rates, corporation tax and excise duties
  • 24% of independent convenience store owners work more than 70 hours a week
  • Convenience store retailers have invested £814m in the last year on improving their stores, extending the range of services available to customers and making their businesses more efficient

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores continue to play a vital role in the communities they serve, reaching into every type of neighbourhood, village, estate and high street.  The breadth of the services that people access through their local shop continues to increase and become more powerful, and it’s no wonder that convenience stores are consistently rated so highly by local people for their positive impact on the places where we trade.

“The sector faces challenges, not least rising costs for employing people and doing business, but stores are responding positively, opening for longer, continuing to invest in improving their offer, particularly in refrigeration for chilled foods, and providing a more diverse range of products and services than ever before.

“The rise in part time working in the sector demonstrates the flexibility that stores offer to staff who come from within the local area, usually walk to work, and often have other commitments such as study or childcare. However, with stores offering more services, there are increasing opportunities for colleagues to develop new skills as part of their work.

“All of this investment and innovation, and our growing relevance to consumers and communities, makes the convenience sector a huge contributor to the UK economy, adding £8.8bn of gross value added, and contributing £3.6bn to the public purse through direct and indirect taxes.  The Local Shop Report is a snapshot of all the things our sector bring to society and the economy, and everyone working in the sector should be proud of the role they play in this success story.”

Download the 2018 Local Shop Report

There are a number of ACS-produced publications that are available alongside the main Local Shop Report, providing more detail in areas such as economic contribution, views of colleagues and consumer views of high street services. Click here to request more information.

ACS has also launched a new podcast talking about the findings of the report, which can be downloaded here: