The New President
Abdul Majid, a highly successful retailer from Bellshill, assumed the office of President of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation at a ceremony on 1st May 2014. Majid personifies the strong presence Asian retailers have in the convenience store sector in Scotland. He is passionate about social responsibility and the part convenience stores can play in the community. Abdul is a trustee of the Glasgow based charity Ucare Foundation and the driving force behind the Al Noor Foundation – organisations which have made significant contributions to health and education in rural areas of Pakistan.
He was presented with the chain of office by Robert Sider, immediate past president and Chief Executive of the Clydebank Co-op. Abdul said,
“As everyone knows the last few years have been extremely challenging. We’ve not only gone through the biggest financial crash in history we have also been on the receiving end of the legislative measures emerging from the Scottish Parliament, particularly in the context of the public health agenda.
The next major battle ground will be the governments’ efforts to be seen to be doing something about obesity and retailers being ‘invited’ to remove all confectionery from the checkout area. And the big one: Competition. The aggressive expansion of the big mults into the convenience store sector. It’s little consolation but in a way this is a backhanded compliment – they know that convenience stores represent the future and that people want to shop locally, this is why they are making such a big investment in what has traditionally been our territory.
We know that it’s a real challenge but in many ways raising standards is the only way to deal with this.
The only way we can respond to these cumulative challenges is by working together and making the most of our resources. There’s never been more reason to support SGF. Suppliers need the vital connection with retailers that membership of SGF brings and we all need a strong voice with government.”
Chief Executive John Drummond said
“We are delighted that Abdul has taken on the role of President. He knows the industry – and the Federation – inside out. His wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience as a retailer will be a great asset when we engage with key policy and decision makers”.
Abdul has had an immediate impact on SGF’s political activities. He has already had key meeting with Alex Salmond, the First Minister and with Johann Lamont MSP, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. The First Minister has agreed to a follow-up meeting to discuss the Scottish Government’s plans to remove confectionery from till points.