The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has detailed the areas it wants a “retail sector deal” with the government to include following this week’s publication of a Green Paper on Industrial Strategy.
The word “retail” is only mentioned twice in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) consultation document, Building Our Industrial Strategy, although BEIS stressed that the aim was to begin a consultation that would not be constrained by the themes in the document.
C-Store understands the ACS is not worried about vagueness with regard to retail in the paper because BEIS has told the trade group a retail sector deal will be made.
The ACS said it was looking forward to working with the government on a retail “sector deal” – part of what prime minister Theresa May said in the consultation document’s foreword was “a plan to build a stronger, fairer Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few,” repeating the words she spoke outside 10 Downing Street on becoming prime minister.
The strategy will be “a critical part of the plan for post-Brexit Britain, designed to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society”, she said.
James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said that a sector deal for retail would enable the ACS and others set out the challenges retailers faced and how they would co-operate with government to overcome them.
“Convenience stores have a reach into communities which is greater than any other business sector, so we have a good story to tell,” he said.
Lowman expected some of the areas to be discussed to include skills gaps, employment costs and regulatory issues.
“ACS already works closely with the BEIS retail unit to encourage understanding of the convenience sector and the impact public policy has on retailers investment decisions. The sector deal will enhance existing relationships between retailers and government further and embed understanding of the convenience sectors issues across government,” Lowman said.
Manny Patel, owner of Londis store Manny’s in Long Ditton, Surrey, said he wanted a retail sector deal to include:
- More business rate concessions
- Less legislative red tape
- Cheaper, fairer and clearer energy tariffs and consistency between energy suppliers
- Incentives for recycling
- Help with moving from incandescent lighting to LED
- Financial help with moving from open-door chillers to chillers with doors.
“I would like any help to help us reduce our carbon footprint,” Patel said.