SMErry Christmas: £4.4 billion Christmas bonanza for small retailers
· Every day in December will see some £140.4 million spent at small retailers
· People plan to buy nearly a fifth of their gifts from independent retailers, spending £87.51 on average
· 82 per cent of people want less generic and more unusual items for friends and family this Christmas
· Supporting local businesses is extremely important to 93 per cent of people, who believe that independent shops ensure their community has a distinct local character (91 per cent) and are worried about clone high streets (89 per cent)
Britain’s small businesses are set to have a very merry Christmas this year as high numbers of people across the country plan to spend big with independent retailers, according to new research from Direct Line for Business1.
This festive season Brits will spend £4.4 billion with small, independent retail businesses, with £140.4 million spent every day in December. People plan to buy nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of their gifts from independent retailers, each spending £87.51 on average.
Supporting local businesses is extremely important to the majority (93 per cent) of people across the country. Buying local produce matters to people too, over half (57 per cent), some 30 million people, prefer to buy products from local shops instead of major chains. There are different reasons for this, some believe independent retailers offer better service than major chains (76 per cent), while others think the quality of independent goods and produce is better (60 per cent).
There is also a concern among Brits that if they do not support small independent businesses then these will disappear and they will end up with clone high streets with just major, chain retailers featured (89 per cent). People across the country strongly believe that independent shops ensure their community has a distinct local character (91 per cent).
The desire to give someone a different and unique present is another driver for supporting independent retailers, as there is less of a risk of duplicating presents. Eight in 10 (82 per cent) people want less generic and more unusual items for friends and family this Christmas and believe independent retailers are the best place to find these, while three fifths (60 per cent) believe the quality of goods from independent retailers is higher than major chains.
Table one: Attitudes towards supporting small and independent businesses
|Statement||Percentage of Brits who agree with this viewpoint|
|I feel it is important to support local businesses||93%|
|I feel it’s important to support the local economy||93%|
|Independent shops ensure our community has a distinct local character||91%|
|I think without supporting smaller retailers we will be left with ‘clone’ highstreets (e.g. all the same retail brands on every high street)||89%|
|If people don’t support independent retailers, I fear it will damage community cohesion as shops are lost to be replaced by offices or residential units||86%|
|If we don’t shop at independent retailers, I fear highstreets will die out||85%|
|I feel it is important to shop at independent retailers to support employment||85%|
|I want less generic and more unusual items and independent retailers are the best place to find these||82%|
|The service from independent retailers is often better than from major chains||76%|
|The quality of goods from independent retailers is usually higher than major chains||60%|
|I prefer to buy products from local shops instead of from major chains||57%|
Source: Direct Line for Business 2019
There is an interesting demographic switch to supporting small businesses, as young people (18-24) surveyed expect to spend the most (£110) and buy the highest proportion of their gifts from independent retailers. In contrast, 45-to-54-year olds will have the greatest share of total UK spend at small businesses and collectively spend the most (£1.1 billion).
Table two: Age breakdown of Christmas shopping among small businesses
|Age group||Average proportion of gifts expected to be bought from small, independent retailers this Christmas||Average spend at small, independent retailers||Estimated total spend at small, independent retailers|
Source: Direct Line for Business 2019
Jemma Holloway, Retail Product Manager at Direct Line for Business, 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.”
Regionally, the North West will see the highest number of people purchasing presents from small retailers, with 98 per cent of the adult population, some 6.7 million people, choosing to do so. These people, with an average spend of £105, will account for a sixth (17 per cent) of the total spend on small businesses in the UK this Christmas.
People in Northern Ireland (23 per cent) are set to buy the highest proportion of their gifts from independent retailers, while the East Midlands (14 per cent) will buy the lowest. As a result, those in Northern Ireland will also have the highest average spend, with £136.33 more than 50 per cent higher than the UK average.
To help support the high street, Direct Line for Business has partnered with Enterprise Nation, Amazon and Square on the launch of Clicks and Mortar, a series of high street pop-up shops, opening across the UK, giving hundreds of small online retailers the opportunity to expand their footprint and reach customers on the high street for the first time. The initiative not only helps online businesses to grow and test physical retail, it also supports the high street retail sector by filling empty shops and driving footfall.
For more information about Direct Line’s small business insurance visit the website: https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/small-business-insurance
Notes to Editors
1 Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence among a representative sample of 1,090 UK adults between 28th and 29th November 2019
For further information please contact:
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Direct Line Group
Senior PR Consultant
Tel: 01903 636 149
Email: [email protected]
Direct Line for Business
Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.
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Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk