Local shops not yet benefiting from economic growth, says ACS
Official figures released last week showed that the economy returned to growth in the third quarter of 2012. However, a new survey has shown that most local shops did not see any evidence of the growth.
The Voice of Local Shops, a survey conducted by the Association of Convenience Stores, found that only a quarter of local shops saw sales increases in Q3.
Furthermore, just a quarter of the retailers surveyed said that they saw any cash profit growth over the past year, with only one in five retailers based in the North and Scotland showing cash profit growth.
However, the survey also showed some signs of optimism with 40% of retailers surveyed saying that they expected sales growth in the coming year, compared to only 22% expecting a decline. 38% of retailers are also planning to invest in new or existing stores.
ACS chief executive James Lowman explained: "Local shops are still struggling to achieve growth in sales, and rising costs are driving down cash profit. These challenges are even greater in the North of England and Scotland."
He continued: "There is evidence that local shops are looking to invest and there is fragile but encouraging optimism about the future. These stores matter to communities, and their survival and growth needs to be nurtured just as much as the manufacturing, financial and technology industries that often attract the greatest media and political focus."
The full report can be found at http://www.acs.org.uk/en/research/voice-of-local-shops-survey/index.cfm
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