The Association of Convenience Stores is calling for volunteers to join the first national minimum wage (NMW) focus group.

The independently-chaired focus group will explore in depth the impact of the NMW on convenience retailers. It will take place at the headquarters of the Low Pay Commission on September 23.

The focus group will examine the challenges retailers face when dealing with changes in the NMW. It will also address the Low Pay Commission’s new remit for 2011 to look at providing businesses with greater clarity over future NMW increases.

The group will be chaired by consultant Mark Childs, formerly of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and a past chair of the CBI National Minimum Wage committee.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to ensure that the Commission fully understands the business impact of its recommendations. We believe that the focus group will add a new powerful dimension to our evidence. It’s a chance for retailers to provide rich evidence of the impacts these things have on their business.”

The findings from the focus group will be published in a report to the Low Pay Commission and will be supported by face-to-face representations from the ACS to commissioners.

Retailers wishing to take part in the focus group should contact Ed Woodall on 01252 533014 or