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The rising appeal of independent retailers

The number of consumers that prefer to shop in independent retailers is increasing, according to new research.

A survey by The Leadership Factor, conducted on behalf of delivery service myHermes, has revealed that one in five British consumers now shop with independent retailers. And this rises to 30% in the 18-24 year old age group, suggesting that independents could expect more customers over time.

The poll surveyed 2,000 adults and found that 85% shop at independent retailers every month, 55% visit every week or more frequently and 8% shop in local independents on a daily basis.

The attractions of independent retailers include their proximity (48%), their trusted payment options (33%), a good website (29%) and reliable delivery options (29%). Four in ten of those surveyed said they visited independent retailers because of recommendations from family and friends.

Service is also a key factor for consumers: 38% agreed that independent retailers offered better customer service, 23% said their products/services were of better quality and 22% said that the internet had made it easier to shop with independents.

Overall, 13% said they actively sought to shop in independents. In London, 19% said they were most likely to shop with an independent small business.

Methods of shopping were also analysed by the researchers. The results show that shopping in-store was the most popular method, followed by e-commerce (33%) and shopping at market stalls (24%).

Joanne Morley, Head of Marketing at myHermes, said: 

"We're encouraged by the results of this research that show not only do we shop with independent retailers more than we did a year ago, but many of us are actively looking to support independent retailers over the retail giants. This research helps independent business owners understand what they need to do to grow in an increasingly competitive marketplace and attract new customers - both online and offline."

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