The ACS Voice of Local Shops Survey takes place every three months. It is a survey of 1,210 independent convenience store retailers. It tracks how they are feeling about recent sales performance and how optimistic they are about the year ahead; as well as whether they are adding or reducing staff hours, and their experience of crime and relationship with their community.
Future Plans – November 2016
Over the last quarter, there has been a decline in the percentage of retailers that are looking to invest in their store over the coming year. This could be attributable to the increase in employment costs that retailers have had to deal with since the introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016. The percentage of retailers who say they are planning to buy or sell their business has remained steady.
Experience of Theft – November 2016
After several successive quarters of retailers experiencing less theft in their business, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of retailers who have experienced some form of theft in their business. Recent figures from the Home Office suggest that 72% of the crime experienced by retail and wholesale businesses is attributed to theft by customers. Shop theft cost convenience retailers over £43m in 2015.
Experience of Abuse – November 2016
The percentage of retailers that have reported a rise in the verbal or physical abuse that they have experienced has increased over the last quarter from 8% to 11%. Only 50% of retailers have not experienced any verbal or physical abuse, which is far too low.
Community Activity – November 2016
While the percentage of retailers that collect money for local charities has remained steady over the last quarter (around 80%), there is evidence that retailers are engaging in more targeted community activity such as providing funding for local events or sponsorship for local/school sports teams, both of which have seen a significant rise over the last quarter.