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Study highlights impact of rising staff costs for convenience retailers.

3 Apr 2024

Research by the University of Stirling and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation has shed light on the impact of rising staff costs on the convenience retail sector in Scotland.
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With large national chains increasingly disappearing from the high street, Drapers magazine has been looking at how independent department stores are stepping up their offerings to... Read more…

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North Yorkshire cycle hub up for top tourism award

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Rob Brown, co-director of Dalby Forest Cycle Hub, a not-for-profit hire scheme has been nominated for the Tourism Superstar 2024 award, run by VisitEngland.
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Independent retail bodies welcome new report aimed at tackling retail crime.

21 Mar 2024

ACS (The Association of Convenience Stores) and the Federation of Independent Retailers (The Fed) have both welcomed a new report published by the Association of Police and Crime... Read more…

Indie retailers outperformed supermarkets in sales of organic food, wellness and beauty products in 2023.

21 Mar 2024

As reported by Healthstores UK, new data contained in the 2024 Soil Association Organic Market report shows that independent retailers delivered an impressive 10% growth in 2023, with... Read more…

Cheltenham beer shop and bar wins top UK award.

21 Mar 2024

An independent bottle shop and bar in Cheltenham has been named as the UK's Independent Beer and Wine Retailer of the Year 2024 at the Drinks Retailing Awards. 
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Welsh Government Announce £20m Future Proofing Fund for Retail Businesses in Wales

21 Mar 2024

A number of organisations, including Bira (the British Independent Retailers’ Association), other trade associations, BIDs and unions have met with officials from the Welsh Government to... Read more…

Study highlights impact of rising staff costs for convenience retailers.

Posted on in Business News

Research by the University of Stirling and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation has shed light on the impact of rising staff costs on the convenience retail sector in Scotland.

Grocery store

On 1 April, the UK National Living Wage rose to £11.44 per hour, a 9.8% increase on 2023/24.

However, a collaboration between SGF and University of Stirling has revealed that the true cost for retail employers will be as much as £15.39 per hour, a jump of £1.39 on the previous year and the highest increase for at least the past eight years.

As reported by Talking Retail, the study considers statutory costs, such as National Insurance and Holiday Pay, as well as additional employment expenses such as uniforms and administration costs.

Meanwhile, a recent survey of SGF members shows that more than 90% of respondents were less likely to hire more staff, due to the wage increases.

Three quarters of owners/managers reported working over 65 hours per week, just to keep costs down.

As a result, additional staff costs will inevitably be passed onto customers, many of whom are also struggling to manage their household budgets.

Professor Leigh Sparks, University of Stirling, said: 

“Convenience and independent retailers find it harder to cope with large increases in the National Living Wage, despite their recognition of the need to reward staff for the jobs they do.

“This is the ninth year that we have looked at the true cost of employment and again we see the pressures on the sector. 

“There does come a point when the cost and management of labour, plus the extreme challenges of actually operating local convenience stores ceases to be viable as a commercial or a lifestyle proposition. If we value the ‘glue’ that local convenience stores provide to communities then we need to show this value to them.”

SGF chief executive, Dr Pete Cheema OBE, added: “Convenience stores are at the very heart of their communities.

“Providing valuable local employment, with flexible hours, but the significant increase to wages year on year means that some stores will need to cut staff hours. Impacting local jobs and overall harming the economy.

“The pressure of absorbing all the additional costs, both external factors and those implemented by government, is putting businesses at risk. Many simply can’t cope.

“Government must start to recognise that local stores are economic drivers and provide many benefits for their communities.

“Without doing more to alleviate the growing pressure on our sector, and accounting for the total cost of employment on top of new regulation, government are damaging the viability of these essential local business.”

The True Cost of Employment 2024 paper will form part of SGF’s annual submission to the Low Pay Commission, for inclusion in its report and recommendations to the Prime Minister later this year.

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