- Published on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:50
Commenting on the latest Scottish unemployment figures from the Office of National Statistics which shows that unemployment in Scotland now stands at 231,000 with an increase of 0.7% over the last quarter SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“Some are calling the latest unemployment figures a ‘disaster’; I call them a wake-up call.
“Another increase in the Scottish unemployment rate is a reminder of how vitally important employers like retailers are to the economic health and wellbeing of Scotland.
“Retail remains the largest private sector employer in Scotland with SGF members employing nearly 30,000 people alone.
“However, like households, retailers are not immune to the dual pressures of rising overhead costs and squeezed incomes.
“There is much the Scottish Government could be doing to support our businesses to remain successful employers.
“Extending the scope of the small business bonus scheme and listening to our concerns about the constant raft of legislation and regulation which is strangling the life out of our businesses would be a good place to start.”
- Published on Monday, 16 January 2012 13:03
Commenting on the announcement at the weekend from the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP, that the permissible size of tobacco display during a transaction will be 1000 sq cm SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“SGF has been consistent and robust from the start in our opposition to the tobacco display ban.
“The legislation is a disproportionate burden on hard pressed retailers to deliver a policy based on flimsy evidence which singularly fails to prove that this measure will make an appreciable difference.
“However, the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act is law so SGF has been pressing Government to ensure that its implementation is as sensible and pragmatic as possible.
“That is why we welcome the Scottish Government’s move away from a display during transaction of only 120 sq cm to one of 1000 sq cm.
“Whilst this is still nowhere near parity with the rest of the UK it is an acknowledgement from the Scottish Government that their original proposals were wide of the mark and that they have listened to our concerns.”
- Published on Monday, 16 January 2012 09:37
- Published on Monday, 19 December 2011 18:12
- Published on Friday, 16 December 2011 10:50
It is our view that it would be premature to state unequivocally whether the 2010 Alcohol Act had reduced alcohol consumption in Scotland.
Having talked to our members we do not recognise the drop in alcohol sales to the magnitude suggested by the Nielsen figures reported in The Grocer.
That is not to say that sales aren’t suffering right now. This is an exceptionally difficult time for retailers, particularly in Scotland where consumer confidence and sales are lagging behind the rest of the UK.
Even the most cursory glance at the latest retail figures demonstrates how difficult the retailing environment in Scotland is and how exceptionally careful consumers are being with their money.
What the figures don’t report is whether there has been any corresponding increase in online sales and upon whose shoulders any reported decline in consumption rests.
My fear, as with minimum pricing, is that when government interferes with price it is the low and moderate drinkers which are penalised the most.
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