CONVENIENCE stores are keeping nearly 2,000 people employed in Wigan borough new figures have revealed.
New figures show 256 local shops across the borough have created 1,924 jobs.
The statistics, from the National Association of Convenience Stores, also show that across the North West 5,510 stores employ 41,411 people, which equates to one shop, per 1,281 people.
The role the stores play in providing employment as well as their role in the community has been praised by council chiefs.
Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Convenience stores are a great source of employment, as is the retail industry in general. They also provide a vital service in our communities because people can buy goods without travelling too far from their homes. This is particularly important for elderly people and those with limited mobility.”
Despite many firms closing down during the past few years as a result of the tough economic climate, many convenience stores have continued to thrive. In June, Spar opened their latest store in the borough at Borsdane Precinct in Hindley.
The figures released by the ACS are part of their 2013 annual report which aims to show how vital convenience stores are in the UK,
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This report provides new insight into the vital role that local shops play in both the local and national economy. Convenience store owners are entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who have weathered the economic storm and continue to strive to succeed in a difficult marketplace. Nationally, local shops provide hundreds of thousands of flexible jobs, particularly for young people and those juggling other commitments like childcare. Local shops are the heart of their communities.”