The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed a letter from DEFRA secretary George Eustice, recognising the enormous contribution of the people running and working in convenience stores.

In the letter, he said: “Everyone working in the food and drink industry has rallied in an extraordinary way to respond to this unprecedented challenge. Having worked in the food industry myself, I am personally enormously proud and thankful for all the work that you have done in recent weeks, and will be asked to do in the weeks ahead. In many cases you are the hidden heroes, and the country is grateful for all that you have done.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We’re pleased that the secretary of state has given this public recognition to the people working in our industry. This is consistent with the private support we have had from the Prime Minister and multiple secretaries of state who are grateful for the work our industry is doing.

“Local shops are keeping thousands of communities going whilst adapting to new advice and guidance on an almost daily basis, as well as branching out into new services like home delivery which are crucial for vulnerable and isolated customers.”

Up to date guidance and resources for retailers developed by ACS are available at