ACS Welsh Local Shop Report 2023 reveals importance to communities & economy

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has praised the resilience of local shops in Wales as part of the launch of its 2023 Welsh Local Shop Report.

At the launch in Cardiff, members of the Senedd gathered to celebrate the role that convenience stores play in communities across Wales and emphasise the importance of local shops not just as community hubs, but also as local investors and job creators.

In a video message to delegates at the launch event, Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said, “I want to recognise and endorse the huge contribution that the Welsh convenience sector makes to people’s lives across Wales and to a vibrant local economy. The convenience retailer has in the last couple of years proven to be the beating heart and supported communities in times of significant hardship.”

Key figures from the 2023 Welsh Local Shop Report include:
• Convenience stores in Wales have invested £38m in their businesses over the last year, the majority of which is funded from their own reserves
• 81% of independent retailers in Wales engaged in some form of community activity over the last year
• The convenience sector in Wales generates over £2.8bn in total sales
• 85% of stores now accept contactless payment
• 46% of stores are engaging with customers on Facebook

ACS chief executive James Lowman shared, “Local shops in Wales are essential job creators, providing local, flexible and secure employment for over 23,000 people in communities across the country. Despite ongoing challenges for all businesses in recruiting and retaining colleagues, the convenience sector remains established as a long term, secure career path.

“This year’s Welsh Local Shop Report shows the continued resilience of Wales’ 3,025 convenience stores, who remain well placed to support their customers when the cost of living is rising, through a diverse range of products and services, helping consumers manage their money and making a really positive impact in the communities that they trade in.

'We believe that the Welsh Local Shop Report sends a clear message about the importance of convenience stores, and the need to support them in difficult times, such as those that we’re facing into right now on energy costs.”