Government report on ‘loneliness’ recognises role of retailers

The government’s annual report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) on “tackling loneliness” has recognised the role of local retailers.

The loneliness report recognises the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Wellbeing Guide for providing retailers with information on how they can “support their employees to develop good social connections”.

Additionally, it drew a connection between the familiarity of retailers to returning customers – particularly for older people living in the pandemic.

READ MORE: ACS urges government to “not leave rural shops behind”

The report highlighted the ACS Local Shop Report’s data from 2021, stating the average customer visits their local shops 2.5 times per week and 39% of customers know the people running and working in their local shop well.

The DCMS also commissioned the Campaign to End Loneliness to produce a short report on how employers could support social connections amongst their staff – which was published in May 2021.

“Local shops play a positive role tackling loneliness due to their place at the heart of the community serving people from all backgrounds and demographics, acting as a social hub for their colleagues and customers,” ACS chief executive officer James Lowman said.

“Convenience stores supply good-quality jobs which are local for all communities, secure and genuinely flexible for both employer and employee and we are pleased that the government has acknowledged our Wellbeing Guide as a key new resource in helping businesses to tackle loneliness.”

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