The raft of new legislation, the amount of paper work that independent retailers are faced with and the expansion by the major multiples into convenience trading has made retailing more demanding than it was 10 years ago. That was the view of independent c-store retailers in a straw poll taken among readers of The Grocer this week. Most said that actually selling the goods was now the easier part of their job, claiming it was the administration they had to undertake that was giving them their major headaches. Many of the retailers interviewed said they would sell out if they received an acceptable offer for their businesses. However, most of those who would get out if the right offer came along, said it was the threat of violence more than any other aspect of running their stores that would make them quit. A typical comment came from Bradford retailer Dipak Patel, who said: "It was hard when I entered the trade 15 years ago but today, competition is tougher. Simply opening your doors can be dangerous and, when it comes to the paperwork, well frankly, I have to get someone in to do it." Londis retailer Garvin Clemson from Southend, Essex, said trading was harder and blamed it on the spread of competition and the increased legislation. He said: "Being a small retailer might not be so bad if the shop is in the right location but, in my case, I have been faced with increased competition and the legislation simply piles up." Clemson said he is nearing retirement age and would not hesitate to sell if he received the right offer. Costcutter retailer Paul Cooke from Tankerton, near Herne Bay, Kent, believed trading today was much harder than it was at the beginning of the 1990s. He said: "The competition is so different than it used to be. The independent sector used to have Sundays to itself but now, the multiples not only open on the Sabbath, they trade much longer hours, often opening round the clock. "You could say that today, the nearest convenience stores' to most shoppers are the 30,000 sq ft Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco superstores that are used for small and large purchases. "My father always told me that work should also be fun, but it isn't today. New legislation such as the move to metrication, stakeholder pensions, sickness benefit and so on, means that the amount of time I have to spend in the office is at the expense of time that could be better spent on the shop floor." {{GROCER CLUB }}