Tuesday 10 December 2019 12:01 am

Shoppers to spend more than £4bn at independent shops over festive season

Small retailers are set to enjoy a £4.4bn spending boost over the festive season as Christmas shoppers plan to support independent businesses, according to the latest research. 

Shoppers are expected to spend £140.4m at small businesses every day in December, as consumers prepare to buy nearly a fifth of their gifts from independent retailers. 

Read more: Wet weather dampens November retail footfall figures

Research by Direct Line for Business found that supporting local businesses is extremely important to 93 per cent of UK shoppers, with 57 per cent of people saying buying local produce is a priority. 

In total, 76 per cent of respondents to the survey said independent retailers offer a better service than major chains, and 60 per cent think the quality of independent goods and produce is better. 

Meanwhile, 82 per cent of shoppers said they were hunting for more unusual items to give to friends and family this Christmas, and believed independent stores were the best place to find less generic presents. 

The research found that 89 per cent of consumers were concerned that independent businesses would disappear without their support, following a challenging year on the high street that has seen both small retailers and major chains struggle. 

Read more: Debate: Are there any signs that retailers could be in for a merry Christmas this year?

Direct Line for Business retail product manager Jemma Holloway said: “UK small businesses provide such fantastic service and the opportunity to buy unique gifts so it’s great to see that this is being recognised and appreciated by shoppers this Christmas.

“We should do our best to support the small businesses in our towns and cities, otherwise we risk these businesses disappearing from the high street altogether.”

Main image credit: Getty