The Association of Convenience Stores is to vote on whether to allow supermarket firms like Tesco and Sainsburys join as members.
Following board approval of a proposal, ACS is holding an EGM on 4th December at which it will ask members to vote on changes to its constitution to allow any convenience store operator to become a member of the Association.
ACS Chairman Jonathan James said: “As the market changes, we have found that our current constitution excludes many potential members, including franchises run by major multiples with independent retailers. The ACS board agreed that these changes are necessary to ensure ACS is a broad-based, inclusive and effective organisation moving forward.
James highlighted the fact that the ACS has always included many multiple retailers in membership while being an effective voice for independent local shops, and it hopes to continue to play this role. He said: “We will continue to provide incredible value through initiatives like our assured advice programme, the Voice of Local Shops survey and the events we run for independents. Part of the changes proposed will be for safeguards to ensure that no group of companies can ever dominate ACS or deflect its policy focus away from independent retailers.”