One Stop

If you can't beat 'em

19 Oct 2017 Updated: 20 Oct 2017

Asif Mahmood and his brother Kashif took an enormous leap last year…


This retailer is back on his soapbox over contactless cards

22 Sep 2017

And he cannot be persuaded in their favour…

Dear Jac

Adding insult to injury

22 Sep 2017

It was bad enough that two con artists got away with 320 euros but the fact that the authorities couldn’t give a toss made…

Selling up? Do be careful who you sign up with

14 Aug 2017

Some agents see a nice percentage for very little work…

This could have been a gotcha! Except he didn't fall for it

14 Jul 2017

Don’t agree to anything on the phone, especially if you didn’t make the call…

If you were one of those un'appy retailers, don't pay up

30 Jun 2017

The company is now in liqidation…

It seems old scams never die, they just evolve

16 Jun 2017

Here’s a really sneaky twist from a business rates ‘consultant’

Charge backs are very unfair on the man in the middle

10 Mar 2017

If the card is not Chip and PIN enabled, you are at risk…

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…


Hello, hello. Can you hear me? I've got a complaint...

06 Oct 2017

… and it’s about your centralised phone system

Another retailer adds his voice to the clamour in this column

08 Sep 2017

Yes, it’s Smiths News and its poor service again…

It's not all about Smiths. There are two monopolies at work here

08 Sep 2017

Welcome back to the column once again Menzies…


A direct approach

06 Sep 2017 Updated: 08 Sep 2017

This seemed like such a simple request…

Dear Jac

Take a deep breath

29 Aug 2017

Vaping is the new vogue in the legal inhaling market…

There's quite a clamour going on...

14 Aug 2017

The move from Borehamwood to Hemel Hemstead should have improved everything…

When you're faced with the same-old problems...

26 Jul 2017 Updated: 28 Jul 2017

…you are liable to lose your rag…

At best this is a grey area in the rates world

14 Jul 2017

It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t backdating their demands…

How do you get along with your bank?

30 Jun 2017

Presumably it will be better than this poor unfortunate…

Oh, feel this retailer's frustration

30 Jun 2017

15 weeks with a dead ATM is wa-a-ay too long…


Read all about it

29 Jun 2017 Updated: 30 Jun 2017

I was very interested in Roger Martin’s problem when he rang from St Helier, Jersey…

A lot of you are struggling with rates that have shot up

05 Jun 2017

This retailer is facing a £10K + increase…

You take a tough decision and then get clobbered

05 May 2017

It ought to be easier than this to just walk away…

This retailer is calling it 'the crime of the century'...

21 Apr 2017

Six police officers for flowers picked up off the street?…

Dear Jac

Justice on the horizon?

19 Apr 2017 Updated: 21 Apr 2017

Thomas Brown was a subpostmaster for a couple of decades, working in various branches in the north-east….


Dear Jac

Not up to scratch

04 Oct 2017 Updated: 06 Oct 2017

Anand Patel rang from West Street News, in Farnham, over Camelot’s Scratchcard replenishment system.

Dear Jac

A recommendation?

14 Jul 2017

I don’t like to recommend suppliers for fear of jinxing the arrangement. But I do like it when retailers pass on recommend…

Recommendation needed for a bit of kit

20 Oct 2017

You all have cameras so you must be able to help…

A cool result on the refrigeration front

06 Oct 2017

And a smarter image as a result, plus a chilled-out retailer

This really seems to be getting out of hand

08 Sep 2017

Even if Cashzone is offering to split the bill…

Ask and - with any luck - you shall receive

14 Aug 2017

I asked, two issues back, for recommendations for a good epos system…

Dear Jac

Paying customer?

14 Aug 2017

It was a simple question: “Can I charge a ‘convenience’ fee for PayPoint payments?”…

Just who is keeping an eye on your store?

26 Jul 2017 Updated: 28 Jul 2017

This question confounded one retailer with takeover twists and third parties…

Their number's up

Their number's up

26 Jul 2017 Updated: 28 Jul 2017

This was an unusual request from a retailer who also requested anonymity…

The strange case of the kaput coffee machine

21 Jun 2017

The supplier says it was rodents…the retailer says it’s a sealed unit…

After conducting his own survey, he handed in his notice

16 Jun 2017

PayPoint was costing him money, and the council hasn’t helped



14 Jun 2017 Updated: 16 Jun 2017

Well, not quite jackpot, but a good result for Jean Alcock, Central Stores in Eardisley, Herefordshire.

It's (not) on the cards

05 Jun 2017

Here is a simple message. If a customer comes in with a card that is not Chip and PIN enabled, don’t risk it…

Message to those of you who signed up for PP's new contract

05 Jun 2017

Go online and read it, understand what you have agreed…

Dear Jac

Pay up, or leave

16 May 2017 Updated: 19 May 2017

The new contract sent out to PayPoint retailers created some confusion and dismay…


The fag end of the new tobacco regs has been a bit messy

06 Oct 2017

It may have taken some time, but gradually it is all getting tidied up

The One Lite stand off takes its last gasp...

22 Sep 2017

…and the retailer is going to try the supplier’s tactics…

Here was some good professional help

30 Jun 2017

In a minefield of cowboys you need to be careful…

How is your plain packaging strategy working out?

05 May 2017

Can’t get your hands on branded stock already or stuck with unshiftable?…

How do you rate your business?

05 May 2017

Or more to the point, how does the local authority rate you?…

We all know there are cutbacks afoot at local councils

21 Apr 2017

But charging for trading standards advice is a bit rich…

We can't 'light up' hardly anywhere anymore...

24 Mar 2017

This new packaging is not as plain as the nose on your face…

Don't get stuck with stock that will soon be illegal

10 Mar 2017

How are your tobacco sales going? And how are you getting on with your reps?…

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.


One Stop

If you can't beat 'em

19 Oct 2017 Updated: 20 Oct 2017

Asif Mahmood and his brother Kashif took an enormous leap last year…

This turned out to be a case of let sleeping dogs lie

20 Oct 2017

Do not disturb a very old ruling and it might not disturb you…

We're still in search of direct drop delivery of our daily bread

20 Oct 2017

We thought we had found a few crumbs but they didn’t rise to the challenge…

You have to use your loaf when it comes to retailing

06 Oct 2017

But getting your hands on your daily bread can be a problem

Quite a shock: a recommendation for an energy company

06 Oct 2017

A live wire plugged us into a utility that’s doing it right.

Oops, we pointed the finger at the wrong Kerry

22 Sep 2017

So we are more than happy to set the record straight…

There's something funny on the cards in Leicester city

26 Jul 2017 Updated: 28 Jul 2017

Who is buying up all the SIM cards, and why?…

Sometimes you have to yell a bit to get listened to

14 Jul 2017

But the rewards are worth it in the end…

They say it's all down to location, location, location

14 Jul 2017

And it doesn’t help when they change the road layout…

He did it his way...and once again it worked

16 Jun 2017

But the writing is on the wall and it won’t work for ever 

Rent reviews: beware the commission-chasing agents

05 Jun 2017

But you might need professional help…

This triple whammy has knocked the sector for six

16 May 2017 Updated: 19 May 2017 | By Jac Roper

The living wage, business rates, plain packaging…and all at once…

A Happy Ending

A happy ending

05 May 2017

Ian and Sharon Laws ran three successful supermarkets trading as Costcutter for 24 years in Cornwall…

It's never too late to make good a promise of reward

21 Apr 2017

These stories will raise both a smile and your spirits…

Bridging that gap in the market

10 Mar 2017

There’s expert help at the end of the phone…

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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Matt Smith

Tap into ethical values

04 Oct 2017 | By HIM

Consumers are becoming more demanding about information on sourcing, production and values, writes HIM’s Matt Smith.


A 'lost year' in retail

04 Oct 2017 | By David Knight

2017 might be seen as a year of ‘wait and see’ for West Sussex-based Budgens retailer David, but 2018 promises to be a year of action.


Clarity on policy

25 Sep 2017 | By HIM

This October there are big changes coming into force around Assured Advice, says James.

Matt Smith

How to boost beer and cider

22 Sep 2017 | By HIM

Data suggests that the percentage of alcohol drinkers within the convenience base is declining, so retailers need to figure out solutions to offset the decline, writes HIM’s Matt Smith.

Donna Mullan

Multiple ambition

11 Sep 2017 | By Donna Mullan

A second store is a huge commitment, but has by no means put us off adding to our retail site portfolio, writes Northern Ireland retailer Donna Mullan.

Sam Coldbeck

Strong foundation

06 Sep 2017 | By Samantha Coldbeck

The staff are the foundations of Wharfedale Premier’s responsible retailing credentials, says Sam.

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30 Jun 2017

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18 Sep 2017

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