New research published by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) reveals the growing importance of local shops to people in Wales.

The 2019 Welsh Local Shop Report shows how convenience stores are supporting communities by providing thousands of jobs, stepping in to ensure that essential services like access to cash are still available, and investing millions to ensure that they stay relevant in the face of competition from larger stores and online businesses.

Key figures from the report include:

  • there are 2,923 convenience stores in Wales, 83% of which are run by independent retailers;
  • convenience stores in Wales provide almost 23,000 jobs to local people;
  • the Welsh convenience sector generated sales of around £2.5bn over the last year;
  • over £44m has been invested over the last year by convenience retailers in Wales, the vast majority of which coming from retailer’s own reserves; and
  • most (62%) of the convenience stores in Wales are located in rural areas.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops are an essential part of Welsh communities, creating thousands of local, flexible jobs and providing not just a local grocery offer, but also acting as a social hub and offering a range of services that many people in the rural and isolated communities of Wales would otherwise not be able to access.

“Being able to provide such a diverse offer to customers locally is becoming ever more important, especially in those communities that have seen other service providers like banks and specialist stores leave.”