Retailers are the hardest working professionals in Britain, a new survey reveals.

According to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Local Shop Report, 60% of store owners work more than 50 hours during an average week, while just 7% of those surveyed working less than 30 hours.

This is in contrast to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which showed that the average working week of most other professionals is between 30 and 40 hours. The only professions to come close to retailing were agriculture, forestry and fishing with an average of 45 hours a week worked.

The survey also revealed that 51% take less than 10 days off a year while one in five reported taking no holiday at all.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said he wasn’t surprised by the findings. “The stores we’re talking about here are our members’ livelihoods, so it’s not surprising that they work long hours to be successful. Some of our members are in store at four or five in the morning to receive the day’s newspapers and are still there late at night closing up every day of the week.

“You can add to these figures the many hours spent outside the store but working in the community on local events and initiatives. We know that 89% of local shops play an active role in the community, on top of spending every day engaging with customers behind the counter.”