The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) will launch its first Local Shop Report in parliament later this month as part of a series of events aiming to make politicians listen to and engage with the industry in the run up to this year’s election.

The report, produced by the federation and the Association of Convenience Stores, highlights “the scope and scale of the independent convenience store industry in Scotland”. It states there are more convenience stores per head of the population in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

The report also found 65% of retailers in Scotland are first-time entrants, “challenging the idea that they just take on a family business”. It adds the sector provides 44,000 jobs and the total value of sales is around £4bn.

“The Scottish Local Shop Report is a game-changer in terms of our lobbying and political engagement. We now have the facts and figures we need to show key policy and decision makers how important the convenience store industry is to the economy and to Scotland’s communities,” said John Lee, SGF head of public affairs.

“We want politicians to realise that this isn’t just a disparate collection of ‘corner shops’ but an important industry, providing local jobs and vital routes to market for manufacturers and wholesalers. A key aim is to make politicians understand that ours is an important ‘business constituency’ that they should proactively listen to and engage with in the run up to the election.”

The federation will launch the report in the Scottish parliament on 14 January. It will be followed by  a series of events including a hustings event in April, the launch of its manifesto, and a parliamentary exhibition in September to engage with new MSPs.