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SGF AND PAYPOINT ANNOUNCE SCOTTISH RETAILERS' FORUM

Scottish Grocers’ Federation and PayPoint have announced the creation of a Scottish Retailers Forum to enhance communications between PayPoint and retailers.

 At a meeting at SGF Headquarters today involving SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema, Darren Tredgett of PayPoint and senior SGF retailers, it was agreed that the forum would meet twice per year, beginning in early 2016, be chaired by SGF and examine key issues around commission, bank charges, simple payments, fraud and communications. The meeting will take place in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

 

 SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said, 

 

“This is part of our ongoing constructive engagement with PayPoint. The Forum will be a big step forward in improving relations and ensuring that both side understand the issues and challenges they face. It will also be a big step towards finding workable solutions to these challenges.”

PayPoint’s Darren Tredgett commented,

 

“We are keen to engage with all of our retailers to understand their businesses and help them profit from having PayPoint in store. It's fantastic that we can work closely together with the SGF to establish the Scottish Retailers Forum and we're looking forward to having constructive discussions and joining forces on addressing the key challenges facing retailers.”

SGF Criticises Chancellor's Decision on Living Wage

SGF has criticised the announcement by the Chancellor during yesterday’s Budget speech, that he will introduce a new compulsory National Living Wage, which will reach £9 per hour by 2020.  All workers aged 25 and above will be paid the National Living Wage, which will be levied by introducing a new premium on top of the current National Minimum Wage.  From April 2016 the new National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 per hour.

With over 5,500 stores in Scotland, the industry contributes around £3.2b to the nation’s economy and employs 41,000 in the sector.  This will place a huge tremendous burden on these retailers and may lead to a number of stores closing.

Addressing the chart below, SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said, “This clearly shows that what the Chancellor has actually done is shift the burden of payment from the Government to the Employer.  The introduction of the National Living Wage is a reckless policy, which could have a disastrous effect on the retail industry, especially in times of austerity.”

 

Living Wage Graph

SGF condemns withdrawal of the sale of Premium Bonds.

 

SGF condemns withdrawal of the sale of Premium Bonds.

  The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has moved quickly to respond to the decision by the National Savings & Investments Agency for withdrawing Premium Bonds from sale in Post Offices after 31st July 2015.  They have issued a statement strongly condemning the decision.

 This comes at a crucial period for the Post Office as they are midway through their Network Transformation Programme. One would have thought that they would have been encouraging commission based schemes and not taking them away.

 ‘The move to withdraw the sale of Premium Bonds from 1st August 2015 is another nail in the coffin for Sub-Postmasters. One in five of the sales of Premium Bonds for last year came from over the counter. This is another huge setback for the Sub-Postmasters as another revenue stream is lost.’

Pete Cheema, SGF CEO.

 

 

 

SGF HELPS TO LAUNCH STOP PROXY PURCHASE CAMPAIGN

The Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP), the North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland, working closely with local retailers, have launched (29th June) a campaign in the area to raise awareness of the fact that buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 or up to three months in prison, or both.

 John Lee, Head of Public Affairs at SGF and Chair of the SGAIP Campaigns Group, said:

 “The success of initiatives such as Challenge 25 have helped reduce the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s, but young people are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means. Asking an adult to buy alcohol for them is one of the most common tactics used. This campaign will raise awareness of the serious consequences of buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 to help reduce underage drinking in the local area.”

 The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 makes it an offence for a person to “act as an agent for a child in purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol

 Superintendent John McTear at Police Scotland said:

“Underage drinking contributes to antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities. During the lighter evenings and school holidays we expect to see more young people congregating. Most are perfectly well behaved, however some may consume alcohol after purchasing it themselves or arranging for someone else to do so and then engage in disorder. Local police will continue patrols and targeted operations where we know this to take place, to reduce attempted purchases of alcohol for under 18s.”

 The campaign is being launched in North Lanarkshire and will run until the end of summer. Learnings and successes from this trial will shape future campaigns across Scotland.

 

 

 

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