The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on supermarkets to stop making "misleading" claims about job creation to further development proposals.
The association has launched a new report, Job Creation Claims in New Supermarket Retail Developments, which says that claims made by supermarkets about job creation are based on inconsistent forecast criteria, ascribes equal value to all types of jobs including part-time staff, and takes no account of the potential job losses from shop closures nearby.
ACS chief executive James Lowman wants to put an end to supermarkets using job-creation claims to “charm” local councils into giving developments approval.
“While supermarkets claim to bring prosperity and employment to a town, we know all too well the damage that can be done to high streets if the wrong supermarket is built in the wrong place,” said Lowman. “Local businesses often have to cut staff and some even are forced to close as a result of a development nearby.”
The ACS has written to the heads of the major supermarkets, local councils and Planning Minister Bob Neill calling for a consistent methodology for basing any job claims. It wants supermarkets claiming job creation to only take into account full-time positions, use 18-month projections and to allow for associated job losses that comes with removing trade from existing businesses.
“We hope that this study will alert local councils to the tactics used by supermarkets to push their applications through,” added Lowman. “Bold employment claims are often essential to a development being approved under new planning policy, so exposing the truth behind these figures could be crucial to the survival of Britain’s high streets.”
You can view the full report here.