Convenience stores and post offices have the most positive impact on their local community, according to the public, retailers and local councillors.
The Association of Convenience Stores’ latest Community Barometer reveals that c-stores are only behind post offices in terms of respondents’ positive perceptions of high street services - and ahead of pharmacies, coffee shops, specialist food shops, restaurants and pubs.
Some 45% of councillors said convenience stores had the most positive impact on their local area, compared with 42% of consumers and 40% of retailers.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience stores have long been established at the heart of their communities, so it’s encouraging to see that the general public and councillors recognise the impact that they have on their local area.
“Local shops have revolutionised their offer to customers over recent years, with many now providing hot food to go, coffee, parcel services and a great core convenience offering.”
It also found that 64% of retailers, 52% of councillors and 40% of consumers think a reduction in business rates should be a priority in their local area.
In addition, 46% of consumers believe that reducing parking charges should be a priority in their area compared to just 28% of councillors.
Lowman added: “The report has shown that there is a disconnect between the needs of consumers and the wants of councillors.
“The public are calling out for their high streets to be more accessible destinations through lower parking charges and investment in public transport, while councillors seem keen to increase their powers through control over technical things like use classes instead of putting much needed investment into their centres.”