Conveinence stores selling hot eat-in or takeaway food will benefit from the slash in VAT.
The Treasury has confirmed convenience stores will be among the restaurants, cafés, pubs and other hospitality venues able to take advantage of the VAT cut set out by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday (8 July).
Hot eat-in or takeaway food will see VAT reduced from 20% to 5% from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.
The inclusion of c-stores has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores, whose research shows as many as one in four shops offer some form of hot counter or cabinet food and one in six offer indoor or outdoor dining.
In addition, retailers will be eligible to apply for a pavement licence, allowing customers to sit outside and consume hot food purchased in-store.
It is understood the licences will take a maximum of seven days to process, and cost £100.
The government is expected to publish further guidance on both the VAT cut and pavement licences imminently.
“We are pleased that the Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have confirmed to us that convenience stores and other small shops will be able to benefit from the reduced rate of VAT on specific food and drink sales, and that our sector will be able to apply for pavement licences,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.
“Foodservice is a significant growth area in the convenience sector, which will receive even more of a boost during the reduced VAT period, and with customers able to eat food at tables put outside the store.”