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15 Apr 2024

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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.

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...

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...

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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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.

Lemons

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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