The average rural convenience store is larger, opening later, and leaving the owner working more hours than last year, according to the ACS.

The organisation’s Rural Shop Report 2019 shows the most common closing time for rural shops is now an hour later than last year at 11pm, in line with the average UK shop. The number of shop owners working more than 70 hours per week has increased from 20% to 25%.

Despite a store investment drop, the average floor space of an independent shop increased, with 39% now above 999sq ft – a 4% annual rise. 

Discussing the challenges facing rural shops, ACS CEO James Lowman suggested more investment is required to create “a level playing field for mobile and broadband connectivity”.

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