We are living in a time of uncertainty with the ongoing Covid-19 situation, which has affected each and every one of us.

Convenience stores, especially those open all hours on petrol forecourts, act as lifelines to their customers, keeping communities connected and providing vital services to those who need them the most, when they need them the most. We’ve seen in the past how local shops have helped to provide essential products to their customers in times of extreme weather, so it has been no surprise to me to see how retailers across the country have stepped in to ensure that their community is cared for.

From offering collection services to having a dedicated shopping hour for NHS workers and vulnerable customers, local shops are continuing to make a positive difference to their customers.

We have seen more c-stores begin offering home delivery services to their customers and this has become particularly crucial as people have been advised to stay indoors to stop the spread of the virus. To help more stores do this, we have developed new guidance in consultation with government and Trading Standards on offering a community grocery delivery service to their customers. The guidance covers a range of areas from taking orders and payments, to managing data security. You can also download a notice for your dashboard that you can use while making a grocery delivery in your community. Our main message is that home delivery doesn’t need to be complicated.

In addition, we’ve been talking to government officials about measures to compensate affected businesses, about immediate political changes to mitigate the situation and about how our members can interpret policy in a practical way. This has led to us producing a range of posters to help you communicate key messages to customers including notices for: hand-washing, altered opening hours, social distancing and home delivery service details.

Things are changing day by day but we will continue to keep members informed with daily updates and on the COVID-19 page on the ACS website.