The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed a letter from Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in retail during the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

In the open letter to the retail sector, Alok Sharma MP outlines the support that has been made available by the Government for retailers and thanks those working in and running stores.

In the letter, Mr Sharma says:"The retail sector is a vital lifeline for those self-isolating, and for those of us adhering to the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

"The goods that you supply make a real difference to our ability to get through this national crisis together, from the food and medicines that people need, to items ordered online to support home working, education or entertainment.

He also said: “Whether you’re working in a shop, large or small, or in a distribution centre or supply chain supporting retailers operating online, I would like to convey my heartfelt and personal thanks for everything that you are doing to support our joint national effort."

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We’re pleased that the Secretary of State has recognised the vital role that our colleagues have played in keeping communities connected and providing customers with vital products.

“From implementing social distancing measures to providing a home grocery delivery service, we have seen how retailers have quickly adapted to ensure that they can continue to serve their customers safely in this period of uncertainty.”