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Tackling the issues with a ministerial visit

Business rates, minimum wage and retail crime were just some of the important issues an experienced Nisa retailer discussed when he hosted a ministerial visit at his store in Burton-on-Trent.

Sukhjinder Gill, who runs two Nisa stores, was talking to Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Government’s Retail and Small Business Minister, highlighting the matters which affect independent retailers.

Sukh explained the issue of shop theft to the MP: “Our losses to shop theft are between £3,000 and £5,000 per year which is typical for small convenience stores such as this. So, we have made investments, because of increasing crime levels, and installed a fantastic CCTV system. The cameras are brilliant quality and we catch people almost every day.”

He installed cameras to the tune of £14,000 and has seen crime levels drop. And he ensures anyone caught on camera and apprehended by staff are invited into the back office to see the security equipment.

“I want to try and educate these people but also get the word out that my store is high security and not somewhere shoplifters will get away with it,” he explained.

Andrew Griffiths, currently undertaking a Productivity Review, looking at how retailers can be encouraged to take on new technology to improve productivity, was impressed by the hi-tech kit and was keen to hear suggestions on how the government can encourage retailers to take on new technology to improve productivity.

Sukh’s web-based HR system which details staff rotas, wages, holiday entitlement and more, was another idea the MP was interested in. The investment saves hours of time and dispels the need for spreadsheets.

Andrew Griffiths said the Productivity Review would help better understand the factors affecting the productivity of UK business and as Small Businesses Minister it was key to support UK small businesses and give them the tools and support needed to thrive.

The ministerial meeting was arranged by the ACS and was attended by Chief Executive James Lowman.