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PRESS RELEASE: CounterBooks was shortlisted for the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” event

CounterBooks, a leading Online Retail Accounting Management Suite for the fuel, convenience and general retail industry, is delighted to announce that they were shortlisted and presented at the Association of Convenience Stores’ “Technology Showcase” in Westminster, London.

The “Technology Showcase” was part of the Association of Convenience Stores’ ‘Heart of the Community Conference 2014’ which attracted convenience retailers, Members of Parliament and ministers from across the country who discussed various issues faced by the convenience industry.

Along with four other innovative technology suppliers, CounterBooks shared how it uses cutting edge technology to assist convenience retailers to reduce cost, improve performance and manage risk. The audience included members of the Association of Convenience Stores’ Independent Board and other highly experienced and knowledgeable convenience retailers.

The CounterBooks' Story

John Roberts, Managing Director, CounterBooks said ‘We were delighted to have been shortlisted for the “Technology Showcase”. The event was a great opportunity for convenience retailers and suppliers to discuss how to utilise technology. We really enjoyed contributing to the discussion.’

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: ‘Our Technology Showcase is a great opportunity for retailers and suppliers to share new ideas that are being developed for the convenience sector. We are delighted that CounterBooks was part of the event and able to share their innovations with those in attendance.’

To learn more about CounterBooks please visit

About CounterBooks

CounterBooks was developed in 2001 and launched on 1st January 2003 as the world’s first online full ledger accounting management suite designed specifically for retailers. It was originally developed by a frustrated computer-programmer-turned-retailer who struggled with traditional accounting systems which were not developed for retail businesses. His aim was to provide an easy to use system suitable for a retailer with no accountancy experience while still providing full easily understandable data reporting.

For further information about CounterBooks, including case studies, images or interviews, please contact, Laura Shafer – Marketing Assistant:-

Telephone: (+44) 0207 099 1050




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Video: The CounterBooks Story



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Survey of local shops in the UK reveals shock rise in theft by staff

Retail theft

Retailers in the UK have been urged to stay vigilant after a shock rise in staff theft over the last year.

The Association of Convenience Stores’ Crime Survey, which covers 3,465 outlets, has revealed the number of incidents of staff theft has increased by 88% in 2012.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The significant spike in staff theft is particularly shocking. The reality of theft from criminals who seek out and then abuse a position of trust is particularly hard for retailers to stomach. We urge police and the criminal justice system to provide the necessary support to retailers in gathering the evidence and pursuing prosecutions where these crimes take place.”

Other findings from the survey include:

The number of till snatches increased by 28%

The number of robberies declined by 23%

The number of burglaries declined by 16%

Incidences of violence against retailers or staff declined by 10%

Lowman said: “These results demonstrate that local shops have been successful in implementing measures to mitigate and even prevent the impact of planned crimes like robberies and burglaries. Although there is a worrying increase in opportunist crimes such as till snatches, we urge retailers to stay vigilant and implement common sense policies like keeping cash levels low.

In January, the Home Office’s Commercial Victimisation Survey showed the retail sector experienced an average of 37 incidents across all crime types, compared with an average of 29 incidents across all the four industry sectors covered. Retailers and wholesalers also experienced the highest level of robbery for all sectors with 633 instances per 1,000 premises over the year.

According to the results, 53% of all crime against retail and wholesale is accounted for by shop theft.


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Are Symbol Groups the Future of Convenience?

Short days, gloomy, cold and rainy, that’s generally the outlook in January. Cheery isn’t it? It seems that a lot of news on convenience retail also reflects this mood. Many independent convenience retailers feel overpowered by the larger superstores such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco who are having an increased influence in the convenience retail sector.  Some independents have benefitted from government assistance such as reduced business rates. Many are also family run which means that their staff costs are low because the family is there to help. However, independent retail stores are still feeling the pressure.

But surely things aren’t that bad? As James Lowman (Chief Executive of the Association of Convenience Stores) explained on Radio 4’s You and Yours, increasing numbers of consumers are shopping little and often and the change in shopper demographic (more single person households and an ageing population) is reinforcing the convenience shopping trend. So is 2013 really going to be that bleak for convenience retail? Is there not another way?

Symbol Groups Bright FutureMore independent retailers are becoming part of symbol groups. IGD (2009) highlight that there are many added benefits to a convenience retailer in joining a symbol group. Firstly, the convenience retailer will become part of a brand which consumers will easily recognise. Secondly, there will be improved buying terms, options to sell own branded products and improved access to technology such as POS systems. Symbol group retailers will also have access to other IT products including cloud accounting.

As IGD explain, symbol group stores are currently generating £13.6bn in sales, three times the level they delivered ten years ago, and they predict that symbol group stores will account for half of all convenience sales by 2020.

Symbol Groups Convenience Sales

James Lowman feels that there’s a lot of opportunity out there. Whilst he doesn’t deny that there is tough competition with the bigger retailers. It seems that symbol groups help to improve trade for independent retailers and so maybe 2013 will not be so bleak after all. You can listen to the full interview here:

Would you agree with the assessment? Are you part of a symbol group? How has this relationship improved footfall in your convenience store? Please comment below.