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SNP MSP Celebrates Scottish Convenience Store Sector

Gordon MacDonald MSP will today (Wednesday 8th November) lead a Members Debate in Holyrood in recognition of the vital importance of the Scottish convenience sector, commending its “significant value to both local customers and Scotland’s economy.”

Across Scotland there are 5,171 convenience stores, many of which are open 24/7 with online and home delivery options. In Mr MacDonald’s constituency of Edinburgh Pentlands, 83% of convenience stores offer mobile top ups; 76% offer bill payment services; 47% have free ATMs and 27% have Post Offices.

This sector employs over 49,000 people – 95% on permanent contracts – with retailers investing £62 million in their stores over the last year. Across the UK, the convenience sector contributed over £10.6 billion in gross value added (GVA) between 2022 and 2023.

Speaking ahead of the debate, SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said:

“At a time when households and businesses are bearing the brunt of Westminster’s cost of living crisis, it is right that we celebrate the hard work and resilience of Scotland’s convenience sector.

“These stores must be recognised for their significant value to both local customers and Scotland’s economy, providing a lifeline for residents through services like Post Offices and stocking local produce.

“The SNP Scottish Government continues to champion the work of local retailers through initiatives like Scotland Loves Local and is taking meaningful action to build a well-being economy with well-paid jobs and growth at its heart, with the convenience sector playing a crucial part.

“I look forward to leading this debate and hope that the Parliament can come together in recognition of Scotland’s fantastic convenience stores.”

SGF Chief Executive, Dr Pete Cheema OBE, added: “Local retailers are at the very heart of their communities and, despite being a very difficult time for many stores, the sector continues to deliver for both local residents and the Scottish Economy.

“Our Local Shop Report 2023, published just a few short weeks ago, provides a key insight into the convenience store sector, the vital services our industry provides and the tireless work of many of those who are employed in our trade.

“The contribution of convenience stores and retail over the past few years cannot be overstated. SGF very much welcomes this recognition in the Scottish Parliament, and I personally want to thank Gordon Macdonald for submitting his motion and bringing the debate forward.”


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