- Published on Thursday, 31 March 2011 21:05
Over 300 delegates representing over 1500 stores will gather on Friday 1st April at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro for the SGF Annual Conference.
Key priorities identified during SGF’s strategic review in 2010 have led to the welcome addition of new retail members including the Costcutter Group and Martin McColl.
Delegates attending this year’s conference, which is the centrepiece of the Scottish convenience store sector calendar, will be inspired by a line up of high calibre speakers including Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland Political Editor; Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium and leading SGF member, David Sands, David Sands Ltd, who will address the theme of the conference “Progressive, Professional, Proactive”.
In a change to previous SGF conferences the Friday afternoon session will feature of series of case studies showcasing successful examples of collaboration between suppliers and retailers, in key category areas, which will provide insight and practical advice to take away and feed into your own business.
John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF, said:
“These are exciting times for SGF and I very much look forward to welcoming delegates to the our annual conference at a new venue here in Dunblane.
“The impressive line up of speakers is one of the very best we have ever brought together for our conference.”
- Published on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 20:09
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has called for tougher action on shoplifting after a written answer to a Scottish Parliamentary Questions revealed over half of those convicted of shoplifting go to re-offend within a year. John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said; “Retail crime is wrongly viewed as victimless but it is not “low level” for those investing thousands of pounds protecting staff, stock and retail premises. In reality it causes misery to lives and is detrimental to livelihoods. “The rate of re-offending is alarming and we want to see the Government take action to address this appalling re-offending rate. Part of the solution must be about tackling substance abusers and the use of fast track justice and community payback to deter criminals. However, the need for prison sentences when appropriate must not be ruled out.” SGF has made a number of recommendations in their Local Shop Manifesto 2011 to tackle shop theft including a need for the criminal justice system to treat shop theft seriously and a requirement for police to raise the importance of retail crime on their agenda by responding quickly and more consistently to retail crime.
- Published on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 20:07
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has published its Local Shops Manifesto 2011 ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament Elections. The manifesto sets out the key policy concerns of local shops, identified through on-going engagement with retailers, and highlights areas where Government can support the local shop.
Commenting, John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said:
“As we get closer to the election, we have to make sure that the issues facing local shops are at the forefront of the minds of prospective MSPs. The SGF’s strong member-led policy development, supported by the team at SGF, means we have produced a manifesto which makes practical proposals.
“There is no doubt that local shops make a vital contribution to the national and local economies. Local shops also provide a valued service at the heart of communities and share a unique relationship with customers, trading as we do in neighbourhoods, high streets and towns across Scotland.
“Throughout the election campaign we will be asking candidates for their support in recognising the contribution that local shops make to communities and the economy.”
SGF policy recommendations from the manifesto include:
- Tougher action against retail crime by recommending police raise the importance of retail crime on their agenda by responding more quickly and consistently to retail crime
- Reduce the amount of business regulation by preventing local authorities implementing separate licensing regimes to reach the same policy objective
- Rethink the tobacco display ban and support enforcement of legislation to stop adults proxy purchasing tobacco
- An end to the irresponsible selling of alcohol by banning below cost selling of alcohol
- Promote strong town centres by increasing non-domestic rates for out of town developments with a redistribution of the revenue raised to encourage vibrant town centres
- Support retailers on the front line of preventing underage sales by introducing and applying tougher prosecution and sentencing guidelines in relation to assaults on retail workers
- Continue to support the long term future of the SGF Healthy Living Programme
- Published on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:10
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has welcomed the Public Health Minister’s announcement that small shops (under 280 sq m) will not be required to implement a tobacco display ban until April 2015 but is disappointment there has been no further announcement on the details of a display ban north of the border
The display ban has already been delayed due to an on-going legal challenge by Imperial Tobacco. The new timescales mean large retailers will be required to implement a display ban by 1st April 2012 and small shops by 1st April 2015.
John Drummond, Chief Executive of the SGF said:
“I welcome the Ministers acknowledgement that retailers will need more time to prepare for the changes which will be implemented at the same time both north and south of the border.
“While we still do not know the final details of a display ban in Scotland, I am disappointed there has been no movement from the Scottish Government on proposals relating to the details of a display ban, consulted on last year.
“Today the UK Health Minister Andrew Lansley MP announced that the size of the display allowed while serving customers in England will increase to 1.5 sq m while in Scotland the proposal is for an allowable display area of 120 sq cm (approx size of a packet of 20 cigarettes).
“At the very least small shops in Scotland must have parity with English retailers otherwise Scottish retailers will be placed at a significant disadvantage as they are forced to install more expensive storage solutions to accommodate draconian regulations.
“SGF is keen to continue to work with the Scottish Government to find a workable solution.”
Commenting on announcement by the UK Government that it will consult on plans to introduce plain packing of tobacco products, John Drummond said:
“Plain packaging would not have the operational costs which would be involved with a display ban. However, it would have operational implications for retailers especially regarding customer transaction times and we are concerned it could boost the illegal trade in tobacco. We would also need to see compelling evidence that plain packaging would be effective at reducing levels of smoking.”
- Published on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:12
As the political parties add the finishing touches to their manifestos ahead of the Scottish Parliament Election in May, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) is urging politicians to include measures to stop the continuing decline of our high streets and secure the future of local shops. The call comes as a report by the Local Data Company shows an increase in vacancy rates across the UK.
Scotland recorded the lowest rate of vacant shop space in the UK. However, empty retail stock figures remain high at 12.6 per cent, a slight rise on the 12 per cent UK average recorded in 2009.
John Drummond, Chief Executive of the SGF said:
“The number of empty shops continues to increase in most centres and the situation may get worse in 2011.
“High streets are under threat from reduced investment, poorly applied planning rules and aggressive supermarkets expansion.
“In too many examples across Scotland supermarkets are poorly planned, too big, and located away from the existing centres, meaning that they destroy choice and close down high streets.
“Politicians need to think creatively how they can redress the balance and incentivise retailers to locate in town centres.
“SGF is keen to work with the politicians to protect the future of the high street because this continuing level of 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
- SGF Seeks Retailers Views ahead of Scottish Parliament Election
- SGF Calls on MSPs to Support Protection of Workers Bill
- Legal Delay on Tobacco Display Ban Makes Review Necessary
- Local Shops React to Scottish Draft Budget
- MSPs Vote in Support of Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill