Ninety per cent of convenience store owners believe that the 2014 National Minimum Wage rate should be frozen at its current level.

The Association of Convenience Stores’ Minimum Wage Survey, conducted in partnership with the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, showed that 87% of retailers have reduced staff hours as a result of increases in employment costs, while 75% have delayed expansion and investment plans.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We urge the Low Pay Commission to consider carefully the implications that a rise in minimum wage would have on thousands of hard working retailers who are already cutting staff hours to stay afloat. A freeze in 2014 would give small business owners a welcome reprieve and allow them to invest in their long-term future.”

The ACS National Minimum Wage Survey collected information from 33 businesses with a total of 911 stores across the convenience sector representing a total of 13,923 employees. The Low Pay Commission will make their recommendation for the 2014 wage rates at the start of next year.