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Running a small store is an incredibly rewarding, varied and demanding job. These demands come in many shapes and sizes. At SBF GB&I we work closely with independent retailers to help understand their businesses and the pressures they face. This helps us to better support them – from launching products we know customers want, through marketing and in-store support, to promoting them to those shoppers. It also means we can have the right conversations with them about market conditions and pressure points.

Matthew Gouldsmith, Channel Controller, SBF GB&I

Matthew Gouldsmith, Channel Controller, SBF GB&I

Creating a working environment for employees that promotes both mental and physical wellbeing is a priority for us, but we also want to make sure we are extending this support to our partners too.

Suntory Group’s founder Shinjiro Torii believed that businesses should operate under the spirit of ‘giving back to society’. As part of our commitment to the convenience channel, and in a clear echo of his words, we wanted to give our support to retailers by helping out in store and giving them time off from their business.

Win The Weekend started with in-depth qualitative and quantitative research. We spoke with 500 convenience retailers, 27% of whom told us they hadn’t taken time off for more than three years. This backed up findings by the Association of Convenience Stores, whose Local Shop Report revealed that 49% of retailers hadn’t had a day off in the year to September 2021.

Our research told us that the main barriers to being able to take time off tie broadly into two areas: lack of trust in other people running the business; and not enough people to leave it to while they take time off. Key barriers are:

  •  64% of indies say that no-one else can run their store correctly
  •  52% of indies say there’s no-one else available
  •  45% of symbols say there is no-one else who can run their store correctly
  •  33% of symbols say they don’t “want” to leave the business in the hands of others

 The most striking number we found was that 78% of all retailers said they value the health of their business over their own physical or mental health. Almost 40% of retailers say that paperwork and finance are the biggest drains of their time.

More than half – 55% – of all retailers say they wouldn’t even leave “an experienced member of staff” to look after their store to help them have time off. However, 78% of all retailers say they devote less than an hour a week to training staff to take over the running of their store.

All of the above fed into our Win The Weekend campaign, which saw us offer one retailer the chance to win a cash prize, and two days off from their business to unwind however they saw fit.

The time we spent in store helping our first winning retailers, Tracy and Michael of Greens of Bassingham in Lincolnshire, was insightful and rewarding and justified our ideas around the Win The Weekend scheme.

We are delighted to announce that SBF GB&I will be running Win The Weekend again later this year – and we are expanding the scheme to help even more retailers get the time off they so richly deserve.

We will offer 10 lucky retailers a two-day break at a local spa near to them, and we will help cover their absence in store through our network of experienced retailers and SBF GB&I retail experts. To be in with a chance of entering simply email your name and your store name and address, with the subject line “WIN THE WEEKEND 2” to