Theft and abuse drop a little and Scottish store owners are ready to invest. But optimism levels dip below rest of Britain
SCOTLAND’S c-store retailers are the most determined in Britain to invest in their stores over the next year but in other aspects of retailing they seem gloomier than their counterparts in England and Wales, according to the latest survey by the Association of Convenience Retailers.
The ACS’ quarterly Voice of Local Shops Survey asks retailers across Britain whether they feel positive or negative about different aspects of their business and about whether performance and security has been good or bad in recent times. To get an idea of retailers’ outlook the researchers take the percentage of positive responses and subtract the proportion of negative replies to get a number that gives the overall feeling in Britain and in its nations and regions. And they also calculate straightforward percentages of retailers who have experienced theft or abuse in the last year as well calculating the percentage of retailers who have participated in community activity in the 12-month period.
In November when asked how they expected sales performance to be in the coming year the total survey for all of Britain returned a positive result of 22 which was 3 higher than the previous survey. But the Scottish respondents gave a positive score of only eight which was one lower than the previous study.
When asked whether sales performance in the last three months had improved the majority of Scottish retailers in the survey said it hadn’t, they returned a negative score of 24, much worse than the overall British score of negative 14.
In Scotland the proportion of retailers who experienced in-store theft in the year was 73% compared to 79% in the previous survey. 53% experienced abuse compared to 61% in the earlier survey.
The proportion of those taking part in community activity over the year was very high at 82% but was in fact a little lower than in the preceding survey when the figure had been 84%.