The Association of Convenience Stores is looking to ensure a smooth handover of power after its chief executive Trevor Dixon confirmed he would be retiring at the end of October. ACS has appointed a firm of recruitment consultants to seek a replacement and will be advertising the position in The Grocer. Dixon told The Grocer: "I always intended to retire at the end of this year and that had been known for some time. "I made the early announcement now to ensure there will be a smooth handover to my successor. "Hopefully there will be time to appoint the new chief executive and for them to join a few weeks before I leave office." Dixon said ACS would be looking for someone with "a passion for the small store c-store sector", with diplomatic and ambassadorial skills who would have the stature to lead the industry. Dixon has held the post for six and a half years, first as national secretary of the British Independent Grocers' Association, and he was appointed chief executive of ACS when it took over from BIGA in 1995. During that time membership has grown from about 1,000 independent retailers to about 25,000 stores, including all the symbol groups, c-store multiples and most of the oil companies. Some independent members thought this process had gone too far last year when CWS (now Co-operative Group) and Sainsbury's Local were admitted. One of the ACS's main activities has been lobbying, where it has claimed success in persuading the government to abandon plans for a levy on retailers to pay for the Food Standards Agency, and in getting plans for date marking cigarettes dropped. {{NEWS }}