The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has voted to allow multiple grocers to become members.

At an EGM on 4 December, its members voted unanimously in favour of allowing multiples to apply to the trade body. So far no multiple operator has yet applied for membership.

The vote on multiple operator membership was made “to ensure ACS is a broad-based, inclusive and effective organisation moving forward” and to allow franchises run by major multiples with independent retailers, such as Tesco-owned One Stop, to apply.

Previously, the ACS constitution prohibited operators whose primary activity is not convenience retail. However, some multi-store chains such as McColl’s Retail Group and the Co-operative societies are members.

Chief executive James Lowman said: “Our members have made a clear decision to make ACS a representative body for the whole convenience sector. This decision is part of our wider strategy to provide political representation, industry leading advice and networking opportunities for all convenience retailers.”