In today’s complex retail market, retailers are expected to have the core business skills, be proficient in financial intelligence, have good organisational skills and know the HR field intrinsically. All of these skills are not innate; they must be learned and developed at all levels across the business – retail experience is the result of taking corrective action while courageously learning from the mistakes we make along the way.
Every retailer following the NFRN Retail Standards path will be able to naturally discuss their experiences but also avail of the knowledge and understanding and mentoring through the NFRN Retail Standards package to help with the development of these skills and ultimately reach higher retailer excellence but more importantly maintain a profitable balance sheet.
This Week’s Featured Guidance
Health and Safety Checklist Guide
NFRN Retail Insight Modules
Written by retailers for retailers, our Retail Insight Modules are fantastic booklets designed to help ensure your continued success and profitability, and the relevant ones are endorsed by Transport for London. They contain a wealth of information as well as essential checklists designed to help you and your staff comply with the legislation imposed on retailers. They work well as training documents or a simple reminder to help you maintain both a smoothly run business and a level of service your customers expect and deserve.
If you wish to be successful, excellent customer service needs to be at the heart of your business.
The NFRN have developed a front to back door guide to ensuring health and safety, good retailing, customer service and security is maintained to an acceptable daily standard.
Documents updated August 2017
Health and Safety Checklist Guide
Sales, Shrinkage & Store Layout
Losses through wastage and shrinkage can have a detrimental impact on your business. The guide also includes advice on store layout.
News Development & Operations
Crime Video: Security Matters
The importance of shop security and how to tackle the main threats to your business including employee theft.
The film is in two parts: the first deals with external threats and the second with the sensitive but vitally important issue of theft from the business by staff.
Auto Pension Enrolment
If you have lots of questions about auto enrolment this handy factsheet will help.
Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties – including putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.
To help guide you towards your staging date the NFRN have produced a useful factsheet which should answer most of your questions and guide you through the process of enrolling your employees.
Find out what your employer duties are for automatic enrolment by downloading the factsheet below.
Download Auto Pension Enrolment Factsheet – Updated September 2017
You can select any pension provider you choose, however, you can access our Pension Provider Comparison to help you understand what some have to offer and make an informed choice.
For more information, visit our dedicated Auto Enrolment page.
In today’s difficult economic climate, many members have approached us to explain how bankruptcy works.
Whilst we trust that all your businesses are thriving and profitable; we hope that this factsheet is only a reading document for your knowledge and understanding:
The Factsheet covers:
- Ways to avoid bankruptcy
- Advantages of bankruptcy
- Disadvantages of bankruptcy
- Ways to go bankrupt
This factsheet is not applicable to members in the Republic of Ireland.
Before Entering into a Contract
The NFRN has devised a factsheet which covers important points that retailers need to be aware of before signing a contract or agreeing a verbal contract.
Business to Business Contracts
Running your own business means you will be entering into contracts on a regular basis.
Sometimes, for many different reasons, you may want to bring them to an end.
Dilapidations’ refers to breaches of lease covenants that relate to the condition of a property during the term of the tenancy or when the lease ends.
This Factsheet only applies to members in England & Wales
Employing Illegal Workers
This factsheet is designed to help retailers understand:
- their responsibilities when employing foreign workers
- the penalties that could be imposed
- what documents are required to be checked
- the length of time retailers need to keep the information after the employee has left
With all the confusion surrounding PayPoint’s plans to phase out its yellow terminals and introduce a new pricing structure, the NFRN has produced a simple factsheet to breakdown the key points of their changes.
Along with outlining the changes that you need to be aware of, the factsheet also includes a checklist to help work out if PayPoint is right for your business.
The key is to fully understand the options available and the decision you are taking.
The NFRN has also published a new Q&A guidance document to help answer more questions on PayPoint’s recent communication and provide more details about their PP1 contract upgrade. The answers are directly from PayPoint.
In April 2018, the NFRN created a PayPoint Contract Termination Template to help those members who want to notify PayPoint of their intention to terminate their contract after a two-year notice period.
Contains information that may be useful for those thinking of applying for a Post Office and to current subpostmasters who may want guidance.
Property is an expensive resource – it can easily turn from a business asset to a liability. The true cost of a property is never just the rent but all the other costs and risks as well as opportunities allocated to you under a contract or lease, therefore it is important to obtain professional support to ensure your key to success and a contract that is tailored to meet your needs.
Psychoactive Substances Act 2016
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 was passed by Parliament in January 2016 to tackle the trade in psychoactive substances (often referred to as “legal highs”) in the UK. The Act will come into effect on 6 April 2016.
The guide below will help you in continuing to comply with the law under the Act.
Rent Reviews, Lease Expiry & Lease Breaks
The issues covered here are governed by individual lease terms and can be somewhat complex hence the ‘health warning’ at the end of the factsheet.
Every retailer is aware of the dangers of retail crime and wants to do all they can to prevent it. Adopting basic but key principles can make it easier for you and your staff to stay safe.
Crime Prevention Information from RAC
You can read more about Retail Crime here
Whether you can get tax credits, and how much you can get, depends on your own circumstances. The NFRN has put together a rough guide to help you determine if you can be eligible for tax credits.
More help and advice
End of credit and debit card fees
From 13 January 2018 it will be illegal for businesses to charge any fees for credit or debit card payments.
As this law is an EU directive, all companies across the EU will also be banned from charging customers these extra fees.
The law will also apply to government services, including HMRC and the DVLA.
Any business caught charging customers for card payments after the deadline will be ordered to repay the fees and could face a hefty fine.
Businesses will be allowed to charge for cashback, and ATMs are outside the scope of the rules.
Retailers can continue to impose a minimum spend for card payments if they wish – this is typically £5 or £10.
Best practice for contactless transactions
Best practice advice regarding contactless transactions is being issued to members, along with a reminder to be alert to unusual activity.
The advice, which can be downloaded below, contains a recommendation that any customer attempting to make multiple contactless transactions be asked to pay by chip and pin.
Don’t forget that from October 14 a new zero floor limit with Visa took effect which could result in transactions taking a few seconds longer than before.
Visa introduced the zero floor limit to help protect cardholders against the risk of fraud. It means that every card transaction has to be authorised online by the card issuer.
The food hygiene rating or inspection result given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority. To help members comply with food hygiene law, the NFRN has produced a briefing note which can be downloaded below. A chilled food recording form is also available, as well as several checklists to make the management of your food stock easier.
Get your free No ID No Sale pack
Licensing Matters are the perfect partner for off-licence retailers. They offer a free 30 minute advice service per case, can support retailers with any licence related matter and will represent retailers at hearings should the need arise.
Licensing Matters works closely with NFRN Legal and early contact with both on the inception of an issue is important.
Exclusive NFRN prices for additional work thereafter.
Download the flyer below to find out how retailers who sell alcohol and other age restricted products can get the protection and support they need.
National Minimum Wage & National Living Wage
As of 1st April 2018, the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage hourly rates are as follows:
|Age Range||Hourly Rate from 1 April 2018|
*Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either aged under 19 or 19+ and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
As an employer, you need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly, as the government has committed to stronger enforcement across the UK.
It is a criminal offence not to pay someone the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, and an employer caught not paying the correct amount risk being fined and may be named by the government.
To find out more or to check if you’re paying your staff the correct amount, visit
NFRN Business Property Advantage
NFRN Business Property Advantage offer a 30 minute helpline with a qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor with additional support and guidance in all matters relating to property such as lease expiries, lease renewals, rent reviews, dilapidations and acquisition services.
Scottish Licensing Booklet
Tobacco Products Directive
New EU laws on how tobacco products are manufactured, produced and sold have come into force.
Known as the Tobacco Products Directive, the new legislation sees a range of tobacco products banned from sale, including packs of 10s, 19s, 18 1/2s, flavoured cigarettes (except menthol) and non-standard style packaging. New regulations covering e-cigarettes will also be included.
Although the law came into force from May 2016, there was a transitional period until May 2017 to allow retailers to sell through old products.
Retailers who continue to sell these prohibited items after May 2017 will face fines or criminal prosecution.
For more information, visit our Advice on Plain Packs and Tobacco Products Directive page.
Payzone Contract Updates
The NFRN has expressed concern at new contracts being imposed by Payzone.
The changes, which represent a fundamental change from existing arrangements, are being forced through with a minimum time for retailers to consider the detail of the new contract.
For the very latest updates and advice, please visit our Payzone Contract Updates page.
Related Member Benefits
NFRN members’ own credit union with account and borrowing facilities.
NFRN Fuelwise is another money saving addition to the NFRN’s portfolio of benefits and services.
Drop shipment service NFRN Direct provides an easy to use, competitive buying solution for independent retailers.
Dedicated member call centre to assist you with all queries and new business opportunities.