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Rural Shop Report 2022

ACS has called on the Government to provide more support for rural convenience stores as part of the levelling up agenda, highlighting the vital role that these businesses play to the economy and to their local communities.

ACS’ 2022 Rural Shop Report has revealed that almost half (49%) of rural stores operate with no other retail or service businesses close by, acting as a lifeline for their customers by providing access to vital services including free to use cash machines (48%), local grocery delivery (26%) and Post Offices (22%). This year’s report also shows that if their local shop was no longer there, customers would have to travel an average of 3.3 miles in order to feed their families. 

Findings from the report show that over the last year, rural convenience stores have achieved around £15.8 billion in sales and the average rural customer visits stores around 2.5 times per week. 

Additional key findings from this year’s report include: 

  • Over the last year rural retailers have invested around £195million in their businesses
  • Rural shops provide local, secure and flexible employment to over 138,000 people
  • Rural convenience stores contributed £3.5billion in GVA
  • 79% of rural convenience stores are independently owned

The full report is available to download from ACS’ Member Portal, alongside a briefing on ACS’ policy priorities for rural shops around levelling up, going green, and rural places. For more information, please visit https://www.acs.org.uk/web-portal/research-and-insights/local-shop-report/rural-shop-report