The number of newsagents taking up driving jobs with Uber and private hire firms just to make ends meet is growing according to retailers.

Private hire operator and Duns News Plus retailer Imy Saeed told Retail Express that the work suits his situation, but that it’s not the same for all retailers: “I know of at least five retailers that have taken it up, but a lot are too proud to admit it.

"For a lot of people it’s to make ends meet and to cover bills during the quiet months.”

Retailers said councils making it easier to obtain private hire licenses was a pull factor in the trend, while retail competition from multiples was a leading push factor.

Samanatha Coldbeck from Wharfedale Convenience Store in Hull said: “I know of a retailer in Hull who is doing private hire to make ends meet. It was either that or closing the doors of his business. Very tough times for many in retail.”

The trend is putting additional strain on retailers with some telling Retail Express that they are working more than 90 hours a week. “What time does it leave for my family?” asked one retailer who’d recently began moonlighting as an Uber driver.

Nathan Bingham from GroceryAid responded to the trend stating: “If you are currently working in any part of the grocery industry and have at least three years’ service, or five years’ service if you are no longer working in grocery, you may be eligible for financial assistance from GroceryAid.”

Do it: Struggling financially or emotionally? Call GroceryAid on 08088 021122