A spotlight on Scottish stores

Retailers work hard to provide vital services

Store owners are exceeding the number of hours in an average working week

CONVENIENCE stores continue to be a lifeline for Scottish consumers, according to a report from the SGF and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

It found 45% of c-stores in Scotland are ‘isolated’, with no other retail or service businesses close by, making them vitally important to their local communities.

82% of Scottish convenience stores provide mobile phone top ups, 50% offer free to use cash machines and 28% have a parcel collection point.

They are also a key source of employment: offering around 44,000 jobs in Scotland.

But despite contributing a considerable amount to society, convenience store owners are guilty of significant overworking.

scottish-local-shop-report 2019

The average UK working week is 37 hours, with the law stipulating that no-one should be forced to work an average of more than 48 hours a week.

Yet a fifth of shop owners in Scotland work more than 70 hours a week, with 16% taking no holidays each year.

Retailers can expect to be even busier as we approach the festive trading period – as more customers search for convenience stores on Google during the week of Christmas than any other time of the year.

It could prove valuable to capitalise on the influx of new customers. But the report found that 8% of stores still don’t accept debit cards, while 18% don’t offer contactless payments.

There is also work to be done when it comes to social media. 60% of Scottish c-stores do not have a Facebook page, 74% don’t have Twitter and 87% haven’t set up an Instagram.

When it comes to the lucrative market of hot food and drinks, independents have only 0.3% of their average category sales made up by these categories.

This is compared to the overall market, where it makes up 1.5% of sales.  For independents, the largest category sales are from  tobacco and e-cigarettes, at 34%.

The average basket size in Scottish c-stores is 2.31 items, while the average spend is £6.38.