Convenience store owners are going the extra mile in their communities to support local projects and raise money for charities, according to figures released today by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
Its Voice of Local Shops Survey, which polled over 1,100 independent retailers across the country, revealed 80% of store owners are involved in their community in some way, with 71% collecting for a local or national charity and 25% providing sponsorship for local schools and sports teams.
Independent retailers are at the heart of their community, not just through charity work and sponsorship but also the people they employ, researchers found. One in four shops in the UK provides jobs for parents with care commitments for young children, and more than one in five (22%) shop staff are taking part in part time/full time study themselves.
As a whole, the convenience sector employs over 372,000 people – more than any UK private sector employer.
Convenience stores are under increasing pressure from multiple chains like Sainsbury’s and Tesco to find a unique selling point that separates them from the competition, the survey revealed. Many independent retailers have capitalised on the essential role they play in their communities to stay open – creating partnerships with local schools and community centres to provide a service that the big four supermarkets simply can’t.