Dear Jac

Get your hands off!

10 Feb 2017

It’s never easy taking on the establishment, but that’s just what Subhash Varambhia is doing…


Another one bites the dust

10 Feb 2017

And according to online reviews it is good riddance…

Beware those pre-paid holiday cards and the big spender

10 Feb 2017

In fact avoid altogether, unless you know the customer personally…

Sometimes all that's needed is a quick email from the press...

18 Nov 2016

…to get the right sort of attention and outcome…

The bank makes a rule and charges you a fee...

07 Oct 2016

…to cover its back in case the bank breaks the rule…

Dear Jac

Lucky dip?

09 Aug 2016 Updated: 12 Aug 2016

Distraction crime is not new – just sometimes different…

Red alert: the cowboys are still rustling in the wings

18 Jul 2016

Here’s yet another warning about cold calling ratings companies…

Sometimes stories on C-Store's website get surprising feedback

07 Jun 2016

Back in 2010 I wrote about a couple who had been taken to court by business transfer agents RTA.

Dear Jac

At this rate...

26 Feb 2016

A lot of people get taken in by ratings cowboys…

A beef about Hamburg: careful, you might get fried...

04 Dec 2015

…or at least wind up in a pickle, from this saucy scam…

Double jeopardy: it shouldn't be allowed

20 Nov 2015

Both the crooks and the banks got away with it…

Dear Jac

Dodgy dealings

26 Aug 2015 Updated: 28 Aug 2015

I recently reported that I had managed to get a retailer her money back following a transaction that used a cleverly doctored card…

From sunny Spain: pay up or else

17 Jul 2015

Those old, old con artists are still fleecing people…

Dear Jac

Cheque this out

14 Jul 2015 Updated: 17 Jul 2015

In December 2013 a Cheque Exchange rep visited Raj Patel’s off licence, Minals, in south-west London’s Tooting……

Take a note - and have a good look

08 Jun 2015

It could easily be phoney money; a retailer has some wise words…

Achtung! It's an invasion

30 Mar 2015

The latest paper scam, dressed up in ultra-official language, hails from Germany…


Dear Jac

Get your hands off!

10 Feb 2017

It’s never easy taking on the establishment, but that’s just what Subhash Varambhia is doing…

With such a perishable product such as news...

30 Jan 2017

Although as many of you have attested in this column, it doesn’t always happen…

In the great scheme of things..........

30 Jan 2017

But the rewards don’t always pan out as planned…

Dear Jac

Banking on it

30 Jan 2017

This is a curious case. Santander put Malcolm Thompson’s cash banking cost up from £80 per month to £500…

Not everyone can make a go of coffee

23 Jan 2017

In this case it’s like selling fridges to Eskimos…

Dear Jac

Lot of un’appy people

16 Jan 2017

Happy New Year and a new warning for you courtesy of Tim Tanton.

This retailer can vouch...

23 Dec 2016

He got all his money back and more…

The Post Office is often the last shop in the village

08 Dec 2016

And yet it is undervalued and put upon…

Dear Jac

A shaky relationship

05 Dec 2016

Amar Dhillon, who runs Park Stores in Cheltenham, sent an outraged email to me and to the Press Distribution Forum.

The rep seemed to be leading a double life

18 Nov 2016

When it comes to card payment deals you need to look very carefully at the T&Cs…

This demand was a load of old rubbish

18 Nov 2016

But the debt collectors won’t listen…

Bringing home the bacon took on a new meaning

04 Nov 2016

When it comes to stock, one size doesn’t fit all…

Dear Jac

Give me credit

21 Oct 2016

The name of Hurendra Bhatt’s business says it all: Universal News…

A knock-down refit led to a knock-down fight

21 Oct 2016

Hopefully harmony – up to a point – has now been restored…

Dear Jac

Late in the day

07 Oct 2016

“They’re not listening,” says Navrit Patel. He’s talking about Menzies Distribution….


Direct debit failures: not a good thing

30 Jan 2017

And in the end it costs you even more money…

Just when you need it most, it packs up

23 Jan 2017

BT was to blame, but took its own sweet time…

Try to avoid direct debit failures with Camelot

23 Dec 2016

The consequences can be tough…

Are you among the growing numbers who take contactless cards?

19 Dec 2016 Updated: 23 Dec 2016

And moreover, do you trust them?…

Dear Jac

A happy resolution

19 Dec 2016 Updated: 23 Dec 2016

Here’s a cheery little tale appropriate to the time of year…

Dear Jac

No special terms

17 Nov 2016 Updated: 18 Nov 2016

Yes, supermarkets fall into the tough cookie category…

There can be costly consequences if you miss a deadline...

04 Nov 2016

…but a goodwill gesture saved the day…

Dear Jac

All wrapped up

30 Aug 2016

Here’s an irony for you. David Smith took on the myHermes parcel service for his customers three years ago…

Putting in a good word for someone

29 Jul 2016

Means it is good news all round…

It's perfectly legal, but questionable

18 Jul 2016

It’s all well and good to pass on warnings to fellow retailers…

Dear Jac

Before you sign...

18 Jul 2016

Amir Iqbal, wrote from Keystore, Glasgow, that recent articles about ATMs had raised concerns…

Dear Jac

Cool customer

01 Jul 2016

You don’t need me to tell you about the importance of refrigeration, or the cost…

A nasty clash of contracts: PP v PO

01 Jul 2016

How many sub-postmasters have had to choose between PayPoint and Post Office?…

Would you pay rental on a duff bit of kit?

01 Jul 2016

This is what one leasing company is expecting…

Camelot is sitting on their assets...

07 Jun 2016

In the last issue I posed the question: How often do you ?take stock?


Good luck to this retailer in attempting to change the law

18 Nov 2016

It would be a great relief for rural traders if he pulls it off

Dear Jac

Light relief?

04 Nov 2016

It is a huge irony that the government is currently giving 100% rate relief to small businesses but only 50% mandatory rel…

Having a licence doesn't stop there

09 Sep 2016

Not keeping proper records could land you in it…

That Very Awful Tax has got John fuming

12 Aug 2016

Why can’t you charge them for your time?…

Delivery times - it's all written down in a charter...

12 Aug 2016

…so you should take a quick study of it…

The wrap-around full cover up on fags is almost complete now

08 Apr 2016

So how do you set your stage to show off these hidden products?…

Dear Jac

Saddle up cowboy

07 Apr 2016 Updated: 08 Apr 2016

I learned a bit more about rates recently, owing to the Budget and courtesy of chartered surveyor and ratings specialist Ken Batty, who practises in Preston.

So, the status quo is maintained on Sunday trading hours...

25 Mar 2016

…and it’s cheers all round from our sector…

An oversupply of booze causes hiccups

14 Mar 2016

And the authorities may find this objectionable…

Freedom of information

12 Feb 2016

Ask the right questions and you get some interesting answers…

A news report on News UK

12 Feb 2016

The complaints about missing credits from News UK continue to roll in…

Although not ideal, a compromise was reached

16 Jan 2016

Why do councils’ petty persons of power always seem to use a hammer to crack a walnut?…

Another council confusion over licensing

16 Jan 2016

Getting the councillor involved made it clear as mud…

J'accuse! This ex-policeman's lot is not a happy one

15 Dec 2015 Updated: 18 Dec 2015

The c-store sector must add DIY policing to its skills-set…

Dear Jac

You're just a statistic

15 Dec 2015 Updated: 18 Dec 2015

I got a letter from someone who wishes to be known only as ‘Peterborough’ and I can’t blame him for feeling paranoid.


One way to avoid a direct debit failure...

10 Feb 2017

…apart from the obvious one…

Rules is rules: they could have stuck to the book

30 Jan 2017

One retailer reckons that another was lucky to get away with it…

Loyalty isn't really its own reward: more is expected

23 Jan 2017

Two tobacco companies have come through eventually…

Tobacco sales down, overall sales up. Discuss

08 Dec 2016

Is this odd pattern happening to lots of retailers, or just this one?…

Stockpiling is not good business - selling is

08 Dec 2016

This retailer is still stuck with stock he cannot shift…

The arrangement is like an itch this retailer can't scratch

04 Nov 2016

But it is only once a year…so he’ll have to put up with it…

Are so many variations on a theme counter productive?

21 Oct 2016

From cheese to sweeties to loo rolls – all overcrowded fixtures with too much choice…

A correction is in order

21 Oct 2016

There is an important difference between £65 per week and £15…

For sale - since last October

07 Oct 2016

Going into business is tough…sometimes it’s just as tough selling up…

Getting plenty of publicity

07 Oct 2016

In this case it doesn’t even matter whether they spell your name right…

How do you size it up?

07 Oct 2016

And what is the real cost of anything?…

Dear Jac

Spoiled for choice

20 Sep 2016 Updated: 23 Sep 2016

“Why do manufacturers persist with such a variety of unit sizes of, especially, lager, sweets and biscuits? Do they not know that it annoys shopkeepers and customers?”

Silly season! August closing down sale coming soon

29 Jul 2016

Except it isn’t good news at all…it’s a retailer going out of business…

This offer was quite a sweetener

01 Jul 2016

But it had turned sour for a while…

Dear Jac

Make 'em laugh

17 Jun 2016

There’s a bit of Dunkirk spirit going on in Alvin Wilkinson’s store, Countdown in Hornsea, East Yorkshire…

Dear J@c

Jac Roper is fighting for a better deal for independent retailers

Help and advice are just a click away

If you have a retail problem that needs solving, you can contact Jac Roper in confidence here.


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Gary Shaw

Get the basics right

10 Feb 2017 | By HIM

In terms of what shoppers are looking for from their c-store, it is very much a case of getting the basics right, says Gary Shaw.

CRA Awards

Building blocks

10 Feb 2017 | By Scott Graham

Last year’s CRA winner reflects on plans for the year ahead following an unpredictable 2016.


The right to question

11 Jan 2017 | By James Lowman

Businesses must have the right to challenge unfair rating assessments, says James Lowman.

Ruth Cousins

How to gain from Free from

11 Jan 2017 | By HIM

C-stores should cater for the rapidly increasing number of shoppers that consider themselves to have food intolerances, says HIM’s Ruth Cousins.

Cameron Thorp

Leaflets still have a role to play

02 Dec 2016 | By HIM

Despite all of the technology at their fingertips, surprisingly it’s younger shoppers who respond most positively to leaflets.


In the bank?

16 Nov 2016 | By James Lowman

James wants to hear from you about your experiences of dealing with the banks.

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