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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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Independent department stores hitting a sweet spot on local high streets.

3 Apr 2024

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…

Entries open for 2024 Baking Industry Awards

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Family-owned cycle shop celebrates 90 years trading in Walsall.

2 Apr 2024

Walsall's cycling community has been celebrating a family-owned business which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
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Payment-processing outages at UK retailers raise reliability issues for cashless transactions.

2 Apr 2024

Recent payment disruptions at supermarkets and fast-food outlets have raised questions on the need for improved reliability.
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North Yorkshire cycle hub up for top tourism award

22 Mar 2024

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…

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Greeting Card Association expresses concern on new evidence Royal Mail prioritising parcel deliveries over letters.

Posted on in Business News

The Greeting Card Association has reacted to a BBC Panorama programme lifting the lid on Royal Mail management prioritising parcel delivery over letters, which it says are in contradiction of assurances given to Ofcom and to the GCA directly.

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The GCA’s chief executive officer Amanda Fergusson said:

“Our members are deeply concerned that Panorama has uncovered further evidence that Royal Mail has been systemically prioritising parcel deliveries ahead of letters.

“This directly contradicts evidence given by Royal Mail to both Ofcom and to the government that Royal Mail’s failure to meet the delivery standards laid out under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) did not result from a change in policy.

“Panorama now confirms what our members have told us – that the Royal Mail continues to batch letters and deliver them behind parcels. 

“In addition to the evidence we understand was supplied to Ofcom by the BEIS committee, two national newspapers and the CWU, we provided details of our members’ experiences directly to both the Royal Mail and the regulator.

“However Ofcom declared in November that it ‘did not identify any suggestion that Royal Mail’s senior management had directed the prioritisation of parcels over letters outside of recognised contingency plans.

“Given Panorama’s findings, we would ask that Ofcom makes good on the promise made to us on January 15 and advise what steps they have since taken to hold the Royal Mail to the delivery standards the public both demands and pays for. 

“They, like our members expect a postal service that’s national, reliable and affordable and they’re not getting it.

“We continue to be concerned that Ofcom though its current USO consultation seems to be assuming an outcome that will see postal deliveries cut back to five or even as few as three days each week – without properly considering the clear steps Royal Mail management could take to immediately return its letters service to a position of greater stability.

“It appears the public is being asked to accept a further diminishing of service levels as a consequence of Royal Mail’s inability to meet the service standards already proscribed in law.

“We cannot stand by and let this happen – as Panorama makes clear, the public demand a better service than the one currently being offered. 

“Our vibrant, creative, £1.5bn British greetings card industry relies on a Royal Mail service that we can all trust to deliver on time, all the time. 

“Ofcom and government need to listen harder to our members and others, like us, who have a deep love and appreciation for the service our Royal Mail provides.

“A restructured USO is not, as Ofcom seems to suggest, a purely economic consideration. 

“As the public outcry to their proposals to cut delivery services suggests, it’s much more than that – people in Britain want the Royal Mail to deliver what it promises.”

Through its #Cardmitment campaign, the GCA is encouraging people make a commitment to send cards. It is asking politicians and other stakeholders to also make a commitment to keeping postal prices low and supporting the Royal Mail’s obligation to deliver to any address in the UK, six days a week.

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