Support for the British Retail Consortium's fairer rent campaign has doubled in size, with the Association of Convenience Stores and the Scottish Grocers Federation both signing up.

The move takes the total number of smaller retailers backing the campaign to 80,000, including several major chains. All are calling on landlords to accept rent a month in advance, rather than three months' payment up front. In a further boost, three Scottish MPs have joined 48 others in signing an Early Day Motion backing the campaign.

Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium Fiona Moriarty said: "Customers don't buy goods three months ahead, so stumping up a quarter's rent in advance creates severe cash-flow difficulties for the smaller retailers."

This latest development follows problems highlighted by The Grocer earlier this month, when it emerged that Crawley retailers were uniting to fight rent increases ('Independents fear massive rent hikes', The Grocer, 1 July, p8).