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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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Confront the recession head on, says the ACT.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Cycle retailers around the UK facing up to the imminent challenges of recession will need to stay one step ahead of the curve to survive. Now is the time to benefit from being part of something bigger and by joining the UK’s largest retail organisation – the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) - IBDs will not only find access to the wide portfolio of essential business services but also the day-to-day support that is often needed during these hard-hitting times.

ACT

“The retail sector is facing significant challenges, with pressure on household budgets and disposable incomes and the Bank of England predicting that the UK could be facing its longest recession since records began,” explains the ACT’s Jonathan Harrison. “And there are signs that this is already affecting the cycle retail sector. It was reported in August that UK bike sales were down a quarter on pre-pandemic levels. Total cycle market volume and value were down by 28% and 26% respectively in the first half of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021. Recovery is now likely to be slower than once anticipated.”

But, Harrison adds, with strength in numbers, the ACT, the Association of Cycle Traders, provides a face for the cycle retail sector, leveraging support from both its membership and across the industry to deliver for its more than 4275 entities, which range from mobile mechanics and garden workshops to some of the sector’s largest brands, including Madison, ZyroFisher and Giant.

“Whilst the ACT community has increased by more than 30% in last the last five years, the average cost of ACT membership has reduced by a similar figure over the past four years,” he continues. “So we think cycle retailers will really benefit from being part of something bigger.”

But what are the key benefits you get for that membership?

1.    If you take card payments face-to-face, over the phone or online – or if you’re new to card payments – the ACT new partnership with Tyl by NatWest could make it easier for your customers to pay you in a fast, secure way.  If you sign up and pay for your membership – and silver membership costs just £60 per annum - and then sign up with Tyl you’ll get £120 credit added to your Tyl account – no brainer. Plus other benefits too, from next-business-day settlement to a range of card machines and virtual payment options, plus simple and fair pricing.

2.    Consumer demand to spread the cost of purchasing bikes over a longer period is currently bigger than ever. ACT’s retail finance scheme – in partnership with V12 Retail Finance - delivers the highest conversion/sales rate of any similar scheme and is worth over £100m p.a. to the cycle industry. The ACT work with V12 Retail Finance to provide all-important market knowledge and to ensure their finance products – including integration - are just the right fit for the cycle trade.

3.    Access and discounts to Cytech, the most recognised and lauded technician training and accreditation scheme internationally assures the future for workshops and technicians. Cytech now delivers training via SEVEN locations across the UK, including a new centre in Scotland that opened in October as well as FIVE locations in Australia and a presence in South Africa and Canada with more to follow in 2023. Your ACT membership will give you the opportunity to get all your specialist retail staff into the Cytech programme at a significant discount.

4.    ACT is also a founding member of the Independent Retailers’ Confederation, making the case to Government and others on the importance and value of independent retail, particularly crucial in this economically volatile times. As an ACT member, you are automatically a member of the IRC community of more than 100,000 specialist retailers across the UK.
 
But there are 15 other essential business benefits to your membership including discounts on business insurance; Retail Finance Training; Tax investigation protection, and unlimited jobs advertising.

What are you waiting for? To join the ACT, click here: www.cycleassociation.uk/join-the-act/

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