There are more local shops than ever before, sales are up and the average spend and frequency of visits to stores are on the rise. 

But there are still worrying issues for retailers, with the multiples taking an increasingly large slice of the cake and some categories performing poorly.

Those were some of the key findings from the ACS’ annual Local Shops report, a state of the nation-style look at the c-store business across the UK. It paints a picture of an industry that is embracing technology and new business opportunities, and is worth a whopping £37.4bn in 2014, up more than 5% year on year, although there are still some warning signs.

 “Retailers are adapting to customer needs by offering a huge range of services in-store,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman. “We will be sending reports and individual constituency cards to every MP in the UK to ensure that they know the value of the convenience sector and the importance of people who run stores in their area.”