C-stores that listen thrive

Sir: Upon reading ‘10 things you need to know about… franchise & fascia groups’ I felt compelled to write in.

In The Grocer’s poll of 2,000 shoppers, Costcutter was named as the most convenient retailer from 42% of respondents and I can’t say I’m surprised. Small-scale shops are leading growth on the high street. There was an 8.1% rise in sales since 2013, compared with a 2.6% rise from larger retailers.

Lifestyle changes could account for this. People are working longer hours and living in a single occupancy for longer. Independent food stores cater perfectly to that market, looking to pop in for a convenience meal on the way home from work.

It comes down to understanding customers’ needs and offering a compelling proposition, and as an independent you have the ability to work more closely with your customer.

Phil Mullis, accountant specialising in retail, Wilkins Kennedy

Badger cull blindness

Sir: There are no ‘beliefs’ on both sides of this argument (‘Supermarkets refuse to budge on [badger cull area] milk,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 1 June). One side is backed by science and the other is political ideology. The badger cull has been proved wholly ineffective at dealing with TB in cattle. As currently implemented it is an un-targeted species eradication strategy, not a disease control strategy. No badgers are tested for TB either before or after culling so no data whatsoever is available to see if it is working. Counties not being culled are performing better in reducing cattle TB than counties that are, and Wales is doing best of all without any culling. It is therefore no surprise there is massive public opposition to the cull and retailers who sit on the fence are going to be hit hard by their customers.

Peter Martin, via thegrocer.co.uk

Underestimating Tractor

Sir: Regarding ‘Red Tractor hits back at Guardian attack’ (thegrocer.co.uk, 29 May), it is important that commentators such as George Monbiot understand the care and attention that go into the Red Tractor brand, bringing the views of a wide range of parties into the discussion, not just the farmers who produce the raw materials.

Tom Langdon-Davies, via thegrocer.co.uk

Stevens right on obesity

Sir: NHS boss Simon Stevens is right ‘Obesity is new smoking says NHS boss,’ thegrocer.co.uk,1 June). His comments should galvanise the industry into action. Tesco’s move should be applauded. The progressive organisations who embrace this will be the ones who prosper.

Paul Kaye via thegrocer.co.uk