Jobs at Scottish convenience stores rise by nearly 17 per cent

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The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has published its annual report on the retail market in Scotland, providing an overview available on one of the countries key sectors.

According to the Scottish Local Shop Report 2022, the convenience retail sector accounts for a total of 49,000 jobs across Scotland – signalling a rise of 16.7 per cent from the previous year.

The report shows an increase in the number of convenience stores over the past year, up 61, to 5098 in 2022, of which 71 per cent are independents. According to the report, 45 per cent of the store owners in Scotland are under the age of 40, and the number rises to 68 per cent if people under 50 are included.

Meanwhile, shop owners are working hard to maintain and grow their businesses, with 11 per cent working more than 70 hours each week, 28 per cent taking no holidays throughout the year, and £65 million invested in local stores since 2021.

“The contribution of convenience stores and retail over the past few years cannot be overstated,” Pete Cheema, SGF chief executive, said.

“Despite very difficult and challenging circumstances for many in convenience retail, staff and local shop owners across Scotland have continued to play an absolutely essential role in both the Scottish Economy and for people in their communities.

“SGF’s Local Shop Report provides a key insight into the convenience store sector, the vital services our industry provides and the tireless work of many of those who are employed in our trade.”

Cheema added that the report makes the case for targeted support from government for the industry, “so that we can continue to deliver for our local economies and communities.”

Across the UK, the convenience sector contributed more than £9.7 billion in Gross Value Added and over £9 billion in taxes, in 2021-22. The report was produced in conjunction with SGF colleagues at the Association of Convenience Stores.