Convenience in brief | The latest news in the sector

A look at what’s going on across the Scottish convenience sector

Atlantic duo boosted by Tunnocks

Leanne Maiden and Sabrina Simpson (left) launch their Tunnock’s emblazoned boat to the public.

TWO adventurous oarswomen have thanked Tunnock’s for backing their bid to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Sabrina Simpson and Leanne Maiden are set to race in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in a Caramel Wafer-emblazoned boat for charity.

Personally backed by sailing enthusiast Sir Boyd Tunnock, 90, the pair have also received funding from the firm. They need to raise £200,000 to compete and donate to their three chosen charities.

Simpson, 44, of Stirling, said: “We’re so grateful to Tunnock’s for the cash injection. We’ll eat freeze-dried food during the challenge but have a huge supply of Caramel Wafers on board to keep us going.”

Maiden, 41, of Bearsden, near Glasgow, added: “Thanks to Tunnock’s, we’re well on our way, but need others to get behind us.”

People can go to to donate ahead of the challenge that starts in the Canaries on December 12.

Staff costs highlighted

Front page of the SGF and Stirling University research paper 'The Real Cost of Employment'
SGF aims to lay out the impact that rising wages will have on retailers.

RISING staff costs in the convenience channel means retail employers will now be forking out as much as £14 an hour, it is claimed.

That’s a jump of £1.25 on the previous year and the highest increase of the past eight years, according to Scottish Grocers’ Federation and University of Stirling research.

The findings were published as the UK National Living Wage went up 9.7% to £10.42.

The study includes costs such as National Insurance, holiday pay, uniforms and admin expenses. A survey of SGF members showed 79% of respondents were less likely to hire more staff due to the wage increases.

Crisp new branding

New packaging across Taylors Potato Crisps, formerly Mackie’s of Taypack

TAYLORS Snacks is to roll out the Taylors brand on its crisps and popcorn ranges this summer – replacing the Mackie’s of Scotland labelled bags.

But the firm stresses that the award-winning products, made near the Taylors’ Perthshire farm, will remain the same.

The move follows last year’s buyout by the Taylor family of the joint venture established between the two businesses in 2009.

The colourful, modern new branding features a distinctively Scottish thistle and Taylors Snacks will be showcasing the products across Scottish TV and radio with a six-figure media campaign.