The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has presented evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the impact of the National Living Wage, urging the Commission to consider how sustainable the Government target of 60% of median earnings by 2020 is.

Responses from the 2016 ACS National Living Wage survey have shown that retailers are likely to face negative consequences in their business if wage rates continue on their planned trajectory to 2020:

• 90% of retailers said that they will reduce the staff hours in their business

• 81% of retailers said they would consider reducing the number of staff they employ

• 79% of retailers said they would reduce their business expansion plans

Speaking to the commission, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The introduction of the National Living Wage has led to retailers delaying investment plans, reviewing the number of staff hours in their business and ultimately, reducing the numbers of staff that they employ.

“We have serious concerns about continuing increases in the National Living Wage that are based on a moving target. Retailers need certainty to be able to plan for the long term, which is why we believe that the Commission should review the sustainability of a 60% of median earnings target.”

The Government target for the National Living Wage to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020 is currently predicted to be around £9.03 per hour.