Who is behind the Association of Community Retailers?

cigarette by SuperFantastic.

Who is behind the Association of Community Retailers?

Last week’s sudden tax hike on tobacco saw a flurry of impromptu press releases, but far and away the most interesting ones were from these folks. “Tax Hike Will Hurt Dairies”, they said, and reporters scrabbling for an original news angle flocked to them for comment. But who exactly are they?

According to their website they grew out of the Stay Displays coalition who previously fought a ban on tobacco point-of-sale displays (and who neither confirmed nor denied receiving funding from tobacco companies). They continue:

In the last few years, however, rights of retailers and our views and concerns about many issues have come to light. This includes sales of alcohol, confectionary and other products; safety and security concerns and other issues.

The ACR is a self-funding organisation from members’ subscriptions. Our goals and objectives are to support and promote the rights of New Zealand’s independent retailers. Membership is voluntary and open to all retailers, FMCG enterprises and individuals.

Their new domain name has been registered since the beginning of March but they’ve only issued two press releases so far – and both have been about the tobacco tax increase.

As for funding, they currently claim 173 members – which sounds impressive in a grassroots-y sort of way, until you realise their annual membership levy is $50. 173 x 50 = $8650 a year, which surely isn’t enough to maintain two part-time comms staff.

So what’s going on here?


One Comment on “Who is behind the Association of Community Retailers?”

  1. […] turns out I’m not the only one interested in this grassroots collective of mum-and-dad-tobacconists, with several people messaging and […]

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