55% of store owners earn less than minimum wage – survey

More than half of independent retailers are earning less than the minimum wage.

That’s the shock finding contained in the latest Voice of Local Shops Survey carried out by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The survey reveals that 55% of store owners believe they earn less than £6.19 an hour when taking into consideration the number of hours worked. More than two thirds (69%) think they earn less than the living wage (£7.45 an hour).

A spokesperson for ACS said the organisation was “very surprised” by the finding, which emerged from a secondary part of the quarterly tracker survey.

The latest survey also finds that 51% of retailers have suffered a fall in cash profit over the past three months, while 14% report an increase. 41% of respondents expect sales “to remain the same” and 68% predict staff hours will “stay steady”. When asked about their investment plans 56% of store owners say they had no plans, while 21% say they have plans to refurbish their existing stores.

“56% of store owners say they have no investment plans, while 21% say they had plans to refurbish their existing stores”

The report reveals that 86% of independent retailers in the South West and Wales have undertaken some form of community engagement activity in the past year, compared to 60% of London retailers. Retailers in the North West are shown to be the most charitable – 81% having collected money for a local or national charity.