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New Presidential Team at SGF

SGF has taken a big step towards ensuring business continuity and effective succession planning as it moves towards its centenary year in 2018. The SGF National Executive has unanimously backed the appointment of Mike Leonard as the Federation’s new Vice-President. The nomination had been made by the incoming President Dennis Williams. Leonard has a wealth of experience, gained thriugh senior positions in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the industry and is currently controller of the highly successful Day Today convenience channel at United Wholesale Scotland.

Dennis Williams commented,

Mike has just the right character and experience that we need to complete the new Presidential team. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the right person for the job and the National Executive has recognised this with their unanimous support”.

Mike Leonard had this to say,

I am delighted to be taking on the role of Vice-President. SGF continues to be moving forward into exciting times and I am looking forward immensely to working with the new President Dennis Williams and the team at SGF”

 

Leonard will assume the role of President at the SGF annual conference in 2018.

The Impact of Responsible Retailing

The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) has welcomed newly published statistics from a key Scottish government report which show that it is now much less common for school pupils to buy alcohol directly from local shops.

 The data is part of the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) and shows that since 2002 the number of 15-year old pupils buying alcohol from a shop fell from 18% to 6%. However, the report also highlighted that the most common sources of alcohol are now from the home, relatives and friends. SGF head of public affairs Dr John Lee commented,

“This marked decline in purchases from shops is very encouraging and clearly shows that retailers have been extremely successful in implementing Challenge 25. It also clearly shows how seriously our members take responsible community retailing and their compliance obligations. Our focus now has to be on supporting retailers and our communities in dealing with more complex issues such as proxy purchase.”

As part of the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership SGF has recently been involved in highly successful proxy purchase campaigns in Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire.

 

SALSUS is a biennial survey, complied on behalf of the Scottish government, and is based on responses from 25,304 pupils across 264 secondary schools in both the state and independent sector.

SGF Broadcasts on The Voice

Scottish Grocers Federation has boosted its efforts to engage with retailers from across Scotland’s diverse communities.

Chief Executive Pete Cheema and past-President Abdul Majid took part (24th October) in a live 2-hour radio phone in on the Glasgow-based Awaz FM. The guests took calls from listeners in both Punjabi and English and touched on a broad range of issues impacting on retailers including National Living Wage, bank charges and commission rates. Awaz translates as ‘the voice’ in English.

Awaz FM is a Community Radio Station set up in 1997 to serve the Asian and African population in Glasgow, broadcasting in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Paharhi and Swahili, delivering entertainment, news local, national and community information. It also covers issues of a multi-faith basis including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam.

Pete Cheema commented,

“We need to find new ways to reach out to retailers in every community in Scotland and we are more than happy to explore innovative ways of doing this. We are developing a very broad range of approaches to communications and information technology and this new venture with Awaz FM has real possibilities.”

 

Initial feedback to the programme has been extremely positive and discussions are underway to develop it into a regular feature.

Take Retailers Out of Business Rates

The Scottish Grocers Federation has called for more small businesses – including convenience store retailers – to be completely taken out of the Business Rates system in Scotland.

In its submission to the Barclay Review Group, the body established by the Scottish government to reform the business rates system, SGF argued that such a move would be fairer and would make the system less complex, more efficient and more cost effective.

Such a move would make more frequent valuations easier, lead to fewer appeals and reduce the overall work load of the Scottish Assessors. The Federation is also calling for annual revaluations to ensure that rateable values maintain a close relationship to market conditions.

In line with the ‘market approach’ favoured by SGF, occupier improvements should be excluded from any revaluations. This would encourage investment and avoid an unfair tax burden being applied to any retailer who had upgraded and refitted their store. SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema commented,

 

“We know from the new Scottish Local Shop Report that in 2015 there were 3,000 jobs lost in the convenience store sector and store numbers fell by almost 300 - this is the first time we have seen reductions like this since 2012. We are now seeing the cumulative impact of constantly increasing business costs. We need to reduce the rates burden on retailers and taking as many of them out of the system as possible is the best way to do this.”

Latest News

  • New Presidential Team at SGF +

    SGF has taken a big step towards ensuring business continuity and effective succession planning as it moves towards its centenary Read More
  • The Impact of Responsible Retailing +

    The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) has welcomed newly published statistics from a key Scottish government report which show that it Read More
  • SGF Broadcasts on The Voice +

    Scottish Grocers Federation has boosted its efforts to engage with retailers from across Scotland’s diverse communities. Chief Executive Pete Cheema Read More
  • Take Retailers Out of Business Rates +

    The Scottish Grocers Federation has called for more small businesses – including convenience store retailers – to be completely taken out of Read More
  • Parliament Breakthrough For C-Stores +

    The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has hailed a major breakthrough in its political engagement work. Holyrood has given its backing Read More
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