Retail sector and Trading Standards
Trading Standards carry out checks and inspections at all levels of business, but we are particularly involved with the retail sector.
We give each retail business in South Lanarkshire a risk rating of high, medium or low, based on a national scheme. We visit high risk premises every year, medium risk every two years and low risk every five years.
The scheme bases the risk rating on the type of goods sold, size of business and previous trading history. For example a newsagent selling newspapers and magazines has a lower risk rating than a shop selling baby accessories and toys.
When we inspect a business we check compliance with legislation including consumer credit, consumer safety, weights and measures, prices and many other fair trading laws.
For example, new legislation introduced in 2011 as part of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 which required retailers who sell tobacco to sign up to the Scottish Tobacco Retailer Register by 1 October in that year.
If we find anything wrong, we offer advice to help the retailer put things right and if this doesn't happen we will issue a formal warning. We may start court action if things are still not corrected. It is unusual to take court action against the retail sector as most are happy to comply with the initial advice.
Unfortunately, things don't always go smoothly between retailers and customers and disputes can arise leading to complaints.
We deal with thousands of consumer complaints and enquiries every year. Most retailers, while not always happy to hear from us, do comply with their responsibilities under consumer legislation and we have a high success rate for resolving complaints.