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    SGF report underlines essential role of local convenience stores

    SGF Chief Executive, Dr Pete Cheema OBE

    Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) is to launch its Scottish Local Shop Report 2023 today, on the final day of its annual conference in Glasgow. The annual spotlight on the retail market in Scotland provides the most comprehensive overview available on one of the nation’s key sectors.

    SGF chief executive Pete Cheema OBE will unveil the report during his address. The conference takes place over 12-13 October at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow. 

    The annual report breaks down the substantial contribution of the convenience retail sector to the Scottish Economy and highlights the lifeline services many local shops provide for their communities across Scotland, all in the midst of a very challenging time for many homes and businesses.

    The latest figures show a welcome increase in the number of convenience stores over the past year, up 73, to 5171 in 2023, accounting for over 49,000 jobs across Scotland.

    Cheema said: “I’m delighted to launch our annual report here at our yearly flagship event, in Glasgow.

    “Despite very difficult and challenging circumstances for many in convenience retail, the contribution of convenience stores and retail over the past few years cannot be overstated. Staff and local shop owners across Scotland have continued to play an 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.

    ”Once again, the information gathered in the report clearly make the case for targeted support from government, for our industry. So that we can continue to deliver for our local economies and communities.”   

    Compiled in collaboration with the Association of Convenience Stores, the Local Shop Report has revealed the enormous contribution that convenience stores in Scotland make to people’s lives, not just as essential grocery businesses, but as job creators, community hubs and beacons of entrepreneurship.

    Across the UK, the convenience sector contributed more than £10.6 billion in Gross Value Added and over £9.1 billion in taxes, in 2022/23.

    Key figures from this year’s report include:

    • There are over 49,000 colleagues working in the convenience sector in Scotland, with 20% of shop owners taking no holidays throughout the year.
    • 70% of stores in the UK convenience sector are run by independent retailers, either entirely unaffiliated or as part of a symbol group.
    • Across the UK, the convenience sector generated over £47.1bn in sales over the last year, with that figure set to grow to over £50.9bn by 2026.
    • Convenience stores in Scotland have invested over £62m over the last year.
    • 81% of independent retailers engaged in some form of community activity in the past year.

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