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Nisa’s Peter Batt pays tribute to independent retailers

Co-Op.

Staff portraits at HQ. 6 June 23.

©Victor De Jesus/UNP
Co-Op. Staff portraits at HQ. 6 June 23. ©Victor De Jesus/UNP

In an open letter ahead of Independents’ Day weekend on 6 and 7 July, Nisa Managing Director Peter Batt has highlighted the crucial role that independent retailers play in their communities.

In the letter, he pointed to “the plight of retail crime” and how teams at Nisa hear on a weekly basis from retailers dealing with the ongoing challenge of shoplifting, which is affecting both their finances and their wellbeing.

He said: “Recently, I was saddened to watch footage of an attempted armed robbery at a Nisa store in Dunfermline, Scotland,” he said. “On this occasion, brave store workers managed to apprehend the offender until the police could attend but we know this isn’t the case in the vast majority of incidents.

“We have called on tougher sanctions on criminals found guilty of retail crime and we would again call on the government following the general election to revisit the plans to introduce legislation to make attacks and assaults on shopworkers a standalone offence.”

Batt talked of his pride over the £17m that independent retailers have donated back into their local communities during 15 years of Making A Difference Locally (MADL). “Last year, MADL helped retailers donate £925,000 and reach over 180,000 people –demonstrating the impact an independent retailer can have on the community,” he said.

He praised independent retailers’ “unique ability” to adapt their offering to fit the wants and needs of their local community, particularly in today’s economic climate.

He said: “I’ve been privileged to visit hundreds of stores over the past 12 months and despite the increased competition independents are facing on the high street, retailers are continuing to invest in their stores to provide an alternative shopping experience – something which can’t be replicated elsewhere.

“Yet there’s been no doubt in all those visits just how challenging it is for so many independent retailers. From energy costs to business rates, from rents to cost of living and consumer confidence, I’d argue that being an independent retailer has rarely been tougher, which is why I’m so committed to supporting our retail partners.”

Batt also commended the convenience sector’s resilience and ability to adapt during challenging periods and claimed he was confident that the high calibre of independent retailers in the UK would be able to weather challenging times once again.

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