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The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is calling on retailers to invite candidates to visit local shops ahead of next month’s general election.

The trade body suggests that the election is an opportunity to meet with local parliamentary candidates standing in their constituency and highlight the important work retailers do.

It also suggests three key questions that retailers can ask candidates during the store visits:

  •  What are your plans to tackle shop theft, violence and abuse towards shopworkers?
  •  How will you help businesses invest and improve the places we trade, like town centres and local parades?
  •  How will you support businesses like mine with the cost of employing people?

It has set up the ACS Election Centre to provide updates on major pledges and announcements, election implications, manifesto analyses, as well as the latest tips and tricks on how to get the most out of store visits.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We highly encourage all retailers to reach out to their local parliamentary candidates and invite them to visit their stores. This is an amazing opportunity to become one of the first to meet new MPs and voice your concerns, ask questions, and emphasise the work that our amazing convenience colleagues do for the sector.

“The convenience sector alone generates over £47bn in sales and provides secure and flexible employment to over 437,000 people across the country. By meeting with members of parliament and building those key relationships, retailers will be able to ensure that their voices are heard so that they can continue to act as the beating heart of their local communities.”