The surprise General Election result highlights more than ever the importance of retailers engaging with their local MPs, according to the Association of Convenience Stores.

The c-store and small business sectors have reacted to the election, which delivered a hung Parliament after no party won an overall majority. Conservative leader Theresa May is understood to be in talks with the DUP to form a government.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “However the post-election negotiations play out, the issues facing convenience stores will remain the same and it’s never been more important to engage locally.

“If you are in one of the many areas that has seen a change in your MP, now is a great time to get them into your store and call on them for support on the issues facing your business.”

The Scottish Grocers Federation urged the next government to prioritise restraining future increases in the National Living Wage in light of the “cumulative impact of cost increases”.

SGF’s head of policy Dr John Lee said: “The national living wage has fallen most heavily on the retail sector with over half a million workers being effected and these constantly increasing staff costs must end.

“We need a national living wage that reflects underlying economic conditions and the ability of different industry sectors to absorb increased staff costs.”

He added that the result of the election in Scotland meant that a second independence referendum was highly unlikely.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for small businesses to be put at the heart of Brexit talks.

”Brexit is clearly the most urgent focus for the new government, with talks due to begin in a matter of days. But Brexit will only be successful if the government fully backs small businesses, the backbone of the economy, whose ambitions will need to be harnessed to make use of any new trade deals,” said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry.