Independent retailers have welcomed the support shown for their industry by Paisley’s MSP George Adam. George attended an event in the Scottish Parliament to receive a copy of the recently published Scottish Grocers’ Federation Scottish Local Shop Report and spoke in the parliamentary debate. The report highlights the value of local independent convenience stores to communities – convenience stores provide over 44,000 jobs and provide valuable services including post offices, bill payment services and ATMs.
Speaking in the debate George said, “I represent the great town of Paisley, which has faced many of the challenges that have been mentioned in the retail sector over the past 10 to 15 years. The media automatically tend to take a picture of Paisley High Street when they want to make a point about how dramatically things have changed. However, although the retail giants have moved out of town, the convenience stores are still in my town centre, serving and working with the community.’
‘It is interesting that one of the top three stores that everyone wants to have in their area is a specialist food shop, such as a traditional butcher, which we still have a number of locally. They were extremely busy during the festive period, although they tend to slow up, but they are still the only type of business where people can get certain products. Shops such as independent butchers and grocers make our town centres thrive because they offer something that is slightly different and a service that people can no longer get elsewhere.
‘I believe that small retailers are the solution to our town centre problems. I wish all the retailers all the best, but I encourage everyone to try to shop in local stores, as I did recently in my town when buying Christmas presents. We need to lead from the front and support such traders.”
Scottish Grocers’ Federation Chief Executive Pete Cheema said,
“We were delighted that George was able to join us at our event. The support of MSPs is vital in ensuring a prosperous and sustainable independent convenience store industry in Scotland.”
The report also shows that here are more convenience stores per head of population in Scotland tan there are in the rest of the UK and that in 87% of retailers are involved in community activities.