If you’re a small or medium convenience retailer, there’s a good chance you’ll have heard of the ACS – the Association of Convenience Stores – and the work they do. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s time to get acquainted.
The Association of Convenience Stores is an organisation that works to represent local shops and retailers all over the UK, from stand-alone, independent and family run shops, to multiple convenience stores, whether you’re in a village or a city centre.
They are a voice to unite these retailers and, often, represent them in the face of the law. In their own words:
“ACS’ core purpose is to lobby Government on the issues that make a difference to local shops. We represent the interests of retailers on a range of issues, including business rates, energy, regulation, planning, alcohol and more.”
The next most important thing to know about the ACS? Their incredibly useful regulatory compliance scheme. In a step that works towards the simplification of retail regulations, the ACS have formed a scheme that offers official advice on the regulations that convenience stores need to be up to scratch on.
This consolidated point of information simplifies work for convenience retailers, who otherwise must follow local regulations that can vary greatly depending on their geographical location. In the eyes of the law, this scheme acts as a ‘primary authority’ which overrides any localised regs (it’s powerful stuff).
All you have to do to legally sign yourself up for following these regulations is become an official Assured Advice scheme member: Sign up here.
Members benefit from guides and information that is ceaselessly updated so as to be the best authority on convenience rules and regulations as possible. This means a lot less research and admin work for the retailer, and more time focusing on the important things.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready to join, or simply want a taste of what’s on offer, check out a sample of what’s available to the general public. The below guides cover a variety of convenience retailing information, and if they’re marked with the ACS Assured Advice logo, the information is ‘Assured’ and can be used as official, legally binding advice.
(Any pieces that don’t have the logo are still great guidance, but they aren’t Assured or covered by the laws of primary authority, so you’ll need to make sure you check them out with your local authority.)
Including your obligations to your staff and customers to keep them safe, and the Risk Assessments that you must carry out.
How to train your staff, display information about allergenic ingredients and where your business must be registered if you want to sell food, among other tips.
How to keep the products you supply safe and prevent the spread of illegal and counterfeit products.
Including rules on the display of promotions and the fair treatment of customers.
Including what is considered best practice, and what you are legally obligated to do.