Community retailing is essential to store success, say local shops
A survey by the Association of Convenience Stores has revealed that nine out of ten convenience retailers are actively involved in engaging with their community.
The third ACS Voice of Local Shops survey found that 89% of those polled had engaged in some form of community activity, with 70% collecting money for a local charity. The figures show the highest level of community engagement since the start of the survey in February this year.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "These latest figures show that as times get tough for communities, the local shop plays an even more important role. That may be through collecting for charities, providing sponsorship to community projects and events, or playing an active role in local council meetings. Civic leadership through effective community engagement is absolutely essential to the success of modern convenience stores."
The survey also revealed convenience retailers' concerns about the state of the economy, with over two-thirds believing the recession is a key obstacle to success, while just under two-thirds highlighted the threat of increased competition from the major multiples. Only four in ten retailers are expecting sales growth in the next quarter.
Sales figures for the past three months show optimism earlier in the year was unfounded, with only 26% of local shops reporting sales growth against 50% who had predicted growth in the same survey in April.
Lowman added: "There were high hopes for the Jubilee, Euro 2012 and for a hot Summer. These events appear to have under-delivered, and the poor weather has further dented sales. Let's hope the Olympics period, and better recent weather, brings more sales."
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