The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) annual conference took place in Warwickshire this week without the planned conference for independent retailers.

A series of seminars under the banner R U Legal? and covering issues such as alcohol licensing, the disability discrimination act, use of fixed penalty notices and employment law, was cancelled after only 10 retailers registered for the event. A similar event last year attracted 60 independents.

ACS chief executive David Rae said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed as we thought we had put together a good programme covering major issues for retailers.”
Rae said the ACS had not ruled out an independents’ conference for next year.

The main conference went ahead as planned, with Rae and ACS chairman Mike Sherwood outlining the association’s commitment to independent retailers and to using outside expertise to help with lobbying activities.

The conference also included presentations from independent retailers John Murray from the north of Scotland and Nick Cooper from Hudson’s of Wandsworth about the importance of people in the c-store trade.