“There’s never been a better time to be a retailer,” former IAA-recognised retailer Mital Morar told our news editor Jack Courtez when he visited him in Manchester for our most recent Retailer Profile.

It’s a statement many may initially read and scoff at. Being an independent convenience retailer right now is hard.

Speaking to retailers at the NFRN’s annual conference earlier this month I heard how wage increases, crime, illicit trade, competition from multiples, business rates and bank charges were all chipping away at independent stores’ profitability.

These are all issues that Retail Express ensures it covers regularly to keep you up to date with any big changes, and offer advice on dealing with them.

But, like Mital, while every retailer I spoke with had business concerns, there were many who spoke to me about the opportunities they’re grasping and how they are offsetting challenges by exploring new categories and building profitable partnerships.

I heard how a partnership with Deliveroo was helping one retailer cash in; about a news wholesaler’s trial where newspapers are now delivered to a roundsman at 2.30am, changing his business and keeping customers happy; and how moving into new convenience growth areas were helping to drive sales.

They were all positive about the future and keen to seek out new ideas and revenue streams. There are pockets of success for the taking – you just need to find yours.