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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

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Proxy Purchase Campaign Goes Viral

A retailer-led proxy purchase campaign in Edinburgh has gone viral one week after launch.  The first campaign message to be posted on Police Scotland’s Edinburgh Division Facebook page has reached over 78,000 people, been shared 365 time and received 120 comments. The post highlights to young people that proxy purchase is a serious offence and that if they are detected asking someone to buy alcohol on their behalf the police will intervene swiftly. The post features the distinctive ‘Police Taxi’ image developed as part of the campaign materials. The campaign focuses on the Leith area of the city and includes operational activity by both uniformed and undercover police officers from the Divisional Violence Reduction Unit.

 John Lee, head of public affairs at SGF and chair of the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership campaigns group commented, 

 

“Social media is an integral part of the overall campaign strategy and we can see how effective this is – the first post has reached almost 80,000 people in the city. Taken together, the use of social media, outdoor media such as street vinyls and digital advertising means that one week on from launch we already have a very high profile campaign.”

SGF Moves Forward At Westminster and Holyrood

The Scottish Grocer’ Federation continues to take important steps forward in having the retailers voice heard at both Westminster and Holyrood. Wednesday 22nd June saw a meeting between SGF and Lord Andrew Dunlop, the undersecretary of state for Scotland. The meeting – which took place at No 10 Downing Street – was a follow-up to Lord Dunlop’s keynote address at the SGF ‘Success in Scotland’ summit in March.

 A key topic for discussion was the increasing involvement of companies like Amazon in providing on-line grocery shopping. SGF are concerned that these companies often receive tax advantages which could give them a competitive edge and put more pressure on independent retailers in an already hyper-competitive UK grocery retail market. Lord Dunlop instructed  his officials to send SGF a paper outlining the steps the UK government are currently taking to ensure a level playing field on tax. The Scotland Office would welcome any comments from SGF on the effective of these measures and how they could be enhanced. Overall officials are keen to look more closely at a range of issues impacting on retailers.

 The under-secretary of state also stressed that the UK government increasingly sees the importance of the independent convenience store sector and that the Scotland Office is committed to strengthening its relations with SGF and its retail members. Scotland Office officials are working with the Cabinet Office to secure the attendance of a Cabinet Minister at SGF’s annual conference.

 SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said,

 “we are determined to strengthen our relationships with the UK government – there are still key reserved issues which impact on business in Scotland. We have been very encouraged by the commitment Lord Dunlop and the Scotland Office have made to working constructively with the Federation”.

 Meanwhile at Hoyrood SGF is making another push to establish a cross party group in the Scottish Parliament. Supported by Gordon MacDonald MSP, the group would bring retail issues directly into the Scottish Parliament. MSPs are currently being canvassed to gauge the level of cross party support for the group. It is hoped that the first meeting of the group will take place in September.

 

 

 

 

Forecourt to the Fore as SGF and Certas Link Up

Certas Energy has announced a tie-up with the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) as it looks to further strengthen its retail business. With a Scottish network of 24 company-owned forecourts, convenience stores have become a significant part of the Certas Energy retail portfolio. The company recognises the benefits of working more closely with the major symbol groups and the most successful independent retailers to increase knowledge and refine best practises.

“Being involved with the SGF will enable us to gain invaluable knowledge across a wide range of areas including new technologies, health and safety and security.” confirms Colin Levy, Retail Operations Manager, Certas Energy. “This will not only benefit our own forecourt operation but allow us to share best practises and market intelligence with Gulf Dealers across the UK.”

SGF currently has a membership of over 3000 stores. Membership includes all the major symbol groups and co-ops currently operating in Scotland . As part of the new agreement, all of Certas Energy’s 24 forecourts will become SGF members.

“We know how important forecourt retailing is to the future of the independent convenience store industry in Scotland,” explains Pete Cheema, Chief Executive, SGF. “We are delighted to launch this highly innovative partnership with Certas Energy and we look forward to welcoming our new forecourt retailing colleagues on board.”

 Certas Energy is the largest independent fuel and lubricant distributors in the UK, serving 1,200 service stations including over 500 Gulf branded forecourts.

New Hotline Helps Retailers Make Sense of Licensing

The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF), in partnership with TLT, has launched two new legal hotlines to provide members with advice on the myriad of licensing and employment issues faced by retailers.

The hotline service will be run by TLT's licensing partner Stephen McGowan; licensing legal director Niall Hassard; employment partner Jonathan Rennie; and employment solicitor Aileen Irvine. SGF members will receive a free initial consultation through the hotlines, with a discounted rate for additional follow up legal services. Other free benefits to members include a licence health check, legal bulletins and access to TLT seminars.

TLT's Stephen McGowan, partner and head of licensing (Scotland), said:

"This legal service is now available to SGF members across the country. We are delighted to be on board with SGF to offer commercial and practical advice to their members."

CEO of SGF, Pet Cheema, said:

"Trying to grasp the myriad of licensing, employment and other regulations is a huge concern for many businesses. Partnering with TLT underlines our commitment to offer our members real value on benefits, which are important to them. We know TLT understand and work closely with many retailers across the UK and we look forward to working with them."

SGF members can use the free hotlines now:

Licensing: 0333 006 1996

Employment Law: 0333 006 1995

Latest News

  • Proxy Purchase Campaign Goes Viral +

    A retailer-led proxy purchase campaign in Edinburgh has gone viral one week after launch. The first campaign message to be Read More
  • SGF Moves Forward At Westminster and Holyrood +

    The Scottish Grocer’ Federation continues to take important steps forward in having the retailers voice heard at both Westminster and Read More
  • Forecourt to the Fore as SGF and Certas Link Up +

    Certas Energy has announced a tie-up with the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) as it looks to further strengthen its retail Read More
  • New Hotline Helps Retailers Make Sense of Licensing +

    The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF), in partnership with TLT, has launched two new legal hotlines to provide members with advice Read More
  • New Partnership With RBS Gives Retailers Expert Advice +

    Scottish Grocers’ Federation is delighted to announce the launch of a partnership with RBS Mentor which will deliver significant benefits Read More
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