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Local Bike Shop Day 2024 confirmed for Saturday May 4th.

4 Mar 2024

The ACT is happy to confirm the date for Local Bike Shop Day 2024 as Saturday 4 May, the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday.
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New research reveals the best cities in the UK for independent retailers.

4 Mar 2024

Research by global fintech company SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for independent businesses.
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Rising costs continue to impact hair and beauty sector

21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January... Read more…

UK votes for its favourite pun-based shop name

21 Feb 2024

The UK has voted for its favourite pun-based shop name, and 'Sew It Seams' - a clothing alteration store in Belfast - has been awarded the top spot. 
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Town centre shops praise council for initiatives

21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.
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Three UK indie coffee shops named among the most popular in the world.

19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.
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Age-friendly businesses could revitalise Britain's high streets.

19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 
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Rural shops more important than ever, new report shows.

8 Feb 2024

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.
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Study reveals Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments as favourite ways to pay in-store.

8 Feb 2024

New research reveals that Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as our favourite ways to pay in-store.
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Fed expresses alarm at ‘runaway’ shoplifting incidents.

5 Feb 2024

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed alarm at new figures that show shoplifting at its highest level in 20 years.
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Rural shops more important than ever, new report shows.

Posted on in Business News

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.

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The report outlines the difference that the UK’s 17,986 rural shops make as secure local employers, as entrepreneurs investing and working with local businesses, and as essential service providers.

Key findings include:

  1. Rural shops employ over 170,000 people, the majority of which live very close and can walk to work.
  2. Rural consumers see convenience stores as the most essential service in their local area.
  3. Independent retailers in rural areas are at the heart of their community, with more than 4 in 5 engaging a range of different community activities over the past year.
  4. Rural shops generated £17.1bn in sales and over £3.8bn in GVA over the last year. 

The Rural Shop Report highlights the work that convenience retailers are doing to provide essential goods and services to their communities, but there are significant challenges facing stores trading in rural and isolated areas.

As part of the launch, ACS is engaging with MPs on the actions that government can take to support rural shops and ensure that there’s a level playing field between rural businesses and their more urban counterparts.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Rural shops make a huge difference locally, as a social hub, a stable employer, and a provider of essential services that would otherwise not be available at all.

“We are calling on MPs to help rural retailers in the battle against shop theft and abuse, to enable stores to continue providing access to cash for customers, and to level up the digital infrastructure that connects rural shops so that they can invest in modernising their businesses.”

Rural Services Network chief executive Kerry Booth said: “We are delighted at the Rural Services Network to be supporting the launch of the Rural Shop Report.

“Rural shops play a critical role at the heart of our rural communities helping to reduce isolation and loneliness, and enabling residents to benefit from services that, due to poor connectivity or lack of transport links, they would be otherwise unable to access.”

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