A new membership drive by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has led to a swell in numbers. 

All 330 Spar stores in the country and 250 Premier stores have joined the trade association, taking its membership to over 1,200 stores. SGF chief executive John Drummond said that the association re-evaluated its membership policy in an effort to better represent the Scottish convenience store sector.

“This membership drive was the result of a strategy approach we embarked on last year,” said Drummond. “We wanted to make sure that we represented as much of the Scottish convenience industry as possible so rather than targeting individual members, we decided to sign up whole symbol groups.”

Spar Scottish Guild chairman Claire Smith said she hoped joining the SGF would help battle the troubling issue of red tape. “Adding the weight of 330 Spar Scotland stores will help both organisations influence policy-makers at a time when it is essential to alleviate the significant impact of red tape on a Scottish convenience sector which is working hard to trade through troubled economic times.”

Drummond said that impending legislative changes to alcohol and tobacco sales meant that Scottish retailers need to be represented properly. “These changes are going to have significant effects on the industry and retailers need maximum protection and communication to help them through these changes.”

He added that he was concerned about further trading changes down the line. “There will be further products affected by government change,” he warned. “The Scottish government will be keen to address the problem of obesity and may want to take measures at a store level. It’s our job to minimise any potential impact that might have on our industry.”