Shop report finds drop in staffing

SGF Local Shop Report reveals 4,000 drop in staff numbers

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema.

SCOTLAND’S convenience store sector has maintained the same retail footprint throughout the pandemic, although it has shed jobs according to the SGF’s annual Local Shop Report.

The report recorded 5,037 stores operating across Scotland, although with 5,000 fewer staff than the previous year. SGF estimates that there are now 42,000 colleagues working in the convenience retail sector.

SGF has said it is likely that the job losses have been greater in those stores in town and city centre locations where there has been a drastic reduction in footfall during the pandemic.

It’s also been a year of investment, with the report finding that Scottish c-store retailers have invested £61 million in their businesses in 2021.

On shopper behaviour, the report found that average basket spend in convenience stores rose from £7.46 in 2020 to £10.82 in 2021.

In range terms, the report revealed that on average, there are around 4,100 different SKUs sold in an average c-store in the course of a year.

Pete Cheema, chief executive of the SGF, said: “Convenience stores have played a huge part in supporting customers and communities through the pandemic. Retailers have been determined to stay open but this has meant that jobs have been lost.

“If there has been a positive outcome of the pandemic it is that people in Scotland have embraced shopping locally and we can see that spending in convenience stores has increased markedly.

“Convenience stores are in a unique position to support customers and communities and this has grown during the pandemic.”