The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed news that MPs are launching an inquiry into the UK retail sector.

The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has invited evidence on what the Government can do to support the retail sector.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome this inquiry and will be submitting evidence to the Committee that will help MPs understand the difficulties retailers are facing.

“We will be urging the Committee to make recommendations that will push Government to reduce the burdens that are contributing to extremely low confidence among convenience retailers at a time when they could be investing and growing their business.

“We will help the Committee to look closely at the impact of planning policy and property costs, particularly business rates on stores in towns, villages and neighbourhoods and to provide a challenging critique of the Government’s performance against the Portas Review recommendations.”

ACS’s Voice of Local Shops survey of convenience retailers shows confidence is extremely low with only 25% planning on investing in or expanding their business in the year ahead.

The committee will review the Government activity to support the retail sector so far including the implementation of the Portas Review, the Retail Sector Strategy, the impact of online sales and regulations and costs facing the sector.