- Published on Monday, 18 April 2011 20:55
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) are delighted to welcome all SPAR retailers in Scotland into membership.
SPAR, one of the leading local shopping groups, has over 300 stores in Scotland.
John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said,
“We are delighted to welcome all SPAR stores in Scotland into membership.
This decision will build and strengthen the relationship SGF already enjoys with SPAR and ensure they are part of a unified retail voice that shapes the retail agenda.”
Claire Smith, SPAR Scottish Guild Chairman, said;
“Adding the weight of 330 SPAR Scotland stores to the SGF will help both organisations influence policy-makers at a time when it is essential to alleviate the significant impact of red tape on a Scottish Convenience sector which is working hard to trade through troubled economic times. The SGF works tirelessly to support our sector and, in turn, it deserves our support”.
- Published on Monday, 11 April 2011 21:00
A recommendation to tax out of town retail developments to generate subsidies to ensure the survival of the traditional high street has been welcomed by the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF).
The controversial recommendation was published in a report The Right to Retail – Can localism save Britain’s small retailers, by Adam Schoenborn, Senior Researcher at ResPublica, who argues that the UK Government must do more to rebalance the retail economy away from the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets, which control nearly 80 per cent of the UK’s £150 billion pound grocery market.
Commenting John Drummond of SGF said, “I welcome this report and hope a new Scottish Government will give careful consideration to the recommendations.
“Our town centres are under threat from out of town centres. SGF believes a town centre first focus is essential. Included within the SGF Local Shop Manifesto we recommend increasing non -domestic rates for out of town developments with a consequent redistribution of the revenue raised to encourage vibrant and viable town centres.
“Town centres are under threat across Scotland. If we want to protect local shops and reverse the growth of ghost towns in Scotland, a radical new approach to town centre development is the only option.”
- Published on Thursday, 07 April 2011 21:02
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has expressed disappointed at the decision taken by UK Government to increase the national minimum wage by 2.5% to £6.08 an hour
John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said:
“An increase in the national minimum wage combined with the impact of the economic slowdown on retailing and consumer confidence will add additional pressure to retailers already struggling in these challenging times.
“SGF supports the principles of a national minimum wage. However, at a time when the public sector is freezing pay and the UK Government is calling on the private sector to lead the economic recovery this increase is unhelpful and places an additional burden on local shops.
“The Chancellors decision to increase the national minimum wage by 2.5% will force retailers to reduce hours and reconsider plans to employ new staff.
“This increase will threaten jobs and investment.”
- Published on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 21:03
The SGF 2011 Annual Conference was a great success, attended by over 300 delegates representing 1500 stores. Held on the 1st and 2nd April at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, the event was filled with thought provoking speaker presentations addressing the theme of the conference “Progressive, Proactive, Professional”.
Speakers at the Saturday morning business session included Jonathan Rons, him!; Professor Leigh Sparks, Stirling University; Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland Political Editor; David Potts, NOM Dairy; David Sands, David Sands Ltd; Yvonne Fennell, Camelot; Jonathan James, James Graven & Sons; Martin Stepek, Scottish Family Business Association; Tom Johnston, Young and Partners and Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium.
Opening the session, SGF President, Graeme Knowles spoke of the important part SGF plays, through lobbying activity, in ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience store industry in Scotland and outlined key policy recommendations in SGF’s 2011 Local Shop Manifesto.
Professor Leigh Sparks and Jonathon Rons offered their expert insight into the importance of retailing in Scotland, identifying drivers for change, the impact of the economic slowdown on retailing and consumer confidence and the growing need for retailers to understand their customers in order to succeed.
Brian Taylor, Political Editor of BBC Scotland entertained delegates with his eloquent overview of the current state of politics and the economic challenges facing a new Scottish Government in the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections on the 5th May.
Speaking about innovation, leading SGF member David Sands impressed delegates with the story of the development of David’s Kitchen. David described the need to develop real partnerships with suppliers and the benefits of sourcing locally and involving local communities in the development of your business. David Potts and Yvonne Fennell discussed innovative products and services they offer or are currently in development which will increase footfall, drive consumer demand and offer a point of difference for customers.
Many convenience store retailers are family businesses. Jonathan James spoke with pride about his family business, James Graven and Sons, established in 1860, and provided an amusing and interesting presentation into the care and thought in terms of planning, sourcing locally and working with the local community which went into the successful development of a new retail site. Martin Stepek spoke of the importance of family businesses to the Scottish economy and referred to family challenges not business issues which often bring family and businesses down. In a thought provoking presentation he recalled the challenges he had faced in his family business and the importance of putting in place the correct structures as the family and business grow in order to prevent catastrophic waste of decades of work.
Closing the session on family business, Tom Johnston of Young and Partners spoke of the need to ensure a family business has the right legal and financial advisers available to offer reliable and honest advice.
The conference keynote speaker, Stephen Robertson of the BRC, referred to retailing as the engine room of Scotland. He commented on a number of retail trends emerging as consumers continue to cut back on non-essentials combined with increasing inflation and low consumer confidence impact on sales. He emphasised the continuing importance of the high street in retail and referred to figures which suggest Scottish retailers have weathered the storm better than their English and Welsh counterparts with all the major retail centres seeing vacancy rates below the national average.
Commenting John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said:
“These are challenging times for retailers and consumers. Confidence will return but retailers will have be in the right shape and place to take advantage of it. Having listened to the speakers share their passion and enthusiasm for the industry with conference delegates, I am confident, when the time is right, retailers who attended the conference will be best placed to harness new opportunities.”
- Published on Thursday, 31 March 2011 21:06
Costcutter Supermarkets Group has pledged its support to the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) by providing its Scottish retailers with free membership to the trade body.
The move which sees over 100 Scottish Costcutter retailers given the option to take a year’s membership with immediate effect comes as the PGMA Group prepares to join the Costcutter operation on a supply and service arrangement later in the year.
Nick Ivel, Costcutter Managing Director said: “We’ve been keen to join the SGF for a while now and taking the proactive approach of signing up all our retailers, is recognition of the great work they do representing independent retailers like ours in Scotland.
“The SGF provides considerable benefits to retailers by working with its members and stakeholders to maintain the political and industry profile of the convenience trade in Scotland.
“It is our shared aim to deliver maximum support to retailers to thrive and develop in what are currently difficult trading conditions and as our operations continue to grow in the area; this demonstrates our commitment to supporting retailers and to the future of Costcutter trading in Scotland.”
John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said: “SGF is delighted to welcome all Scottish Costcutter retailers into membership alongside so many other positive, professional retail groups who want to work together to influence policy, access helpful advice, and network with other retailers.”
- SGF Annual Conference 2011 – Retailers Take Part in Unmissable Event
- Tougher Action Needed on Shop Theft
- SGF Publishes Local Shops 2011 Election Manifesto
- Tobacco Display Ban – New timescales welcomed but movement on display ban urgently required
- High Street Decline Cannot be Ignored
- Martin McColl Joins SGF
- SGF and ACS Combine Forces on Post Office Issues
- Delay of Tobacco Display Ban Provides Opportunity to Review Policy
- A Ban on Below Cost Sales of Alcohol Must be Workable and Credible
- Letter to the editor of The Scotsman re large retail supplement