Nisa Local Menston_Store exterior

Nisa has called attention to the challenges facing independent retailers and their importance to the wider economy.

In a letter to retailers ahead of Independents’ Day (6 June), Nisa managing director Peter Batt highlighted the impact of crime on retailers and how the symbol group is lobbying for better support against verbal and physical abuse.

“Our teams at Nisa hear on a weekly basis from retailers dealing with the ongoing challenge of shoplifting, and the impact that is having both financially and on their own wellbeing.

Peter Batt 1

“Recently, I was saddened to watch footage of an attempted armed robbery at a Nisa store in Dunfermline, Scotland. On this occasion, brave store workers managed to apprehend the offender until the police could attend but we know this isn’t the case in the vast majority of incidents.”

Batt explained what Nisa has done to tackle the issue. “We have called on tougher sanctions on criminals found guilty of retail crime and we would again call on the government following the general election to revisit the plans to introduce legislation to make attacks and assaults on shopworkers a standalone offence.”

He also highlighted the efforts of independent retailers to help their local communities from a support and employment point of view. “This past year we have celebrated 15 years of our Making a Difference Locally charity and I’m so proud of the £17 million that independent retailers have donated back into their local communities throughout that period. Last year, MADL helped retailers donate £925,000 and reach over 180,000 people –demonstrating the impact an independent retailer can have on the community.

“There are close to 50,000 convenience stores across the UK, all of which provide customers with a tailored blend of products to meet local demand. Independent retailers’ unique ability to adapt their offering to fit the wants and needs of their local community is a key attribute, particularly in today’s economic climate. 437,000 people work in convenience stores with over £9 billion paid in taxes into the national economy.”

Batt added that while the sector is facing tough times in terms of rising costs, it has “shown its resilience and ability to adapt during challenging periods before and I am confident that the high calibre of independent retailers this country boasts will be able to weather challenging times once again”.

“We believe that the continued success of independent retailers is vital to creating a thriving, innovative, and sustainable retail environment.”