The Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Voice of Local Shops survey has revealed that, over the past three months, the number of retailers considering investing in their stores or buying new ones has risen to 36% (an increase of nearly a third).

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: "Current trading conditions are tough, but with an important trading summer ahead, independent retailers are showing signs of optimism and thinking about their long-term sustainability." The survey also showed an increase in the number of independent retailers reporting a sales lift in the past three months.