Three quarters of Brits believe supporting independent retailers is important, ahead of Christmas

  • Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of Brits believe it is important to support local retailers who face cost-of-living pressures
  • People intend to buy over a quarter (27 per cent) of their Christmas shopping from independent retailers this year
  • Those shopping with independent retailers will spend on average £164
  • Increased living costs have led to a third (33 per cent) buying fewer gifts this Christmas


Neary three quarters (74 per cent) of Brits believe it is important to support independent retailers this Christmas, according to new findings from Direct Line business insurance, 1 an increase from 72 per cent in 2021. As living costs have soared over the last 12 months, 67 per cent of people believe it is particularly important to support local businesses facing cost-of-living challenges.

Over half (57 per cent) of people will shop at independent stores because they believe they have less generic and more unique items than major retail chains, while (46 per cent) say that the quality of goods at independent stores is better. Over two-thirds (68 per cent) say it is important to shop with independent retailers to support local employment, and 60 per cent say they have better customer service than major chains.

While people recognise the importance of supporting local businesses, people continue to buy Christmas presents from a variety of different stores. On average, purchases at independent retailers will make up over a quarter (27 per cent) of people’s Christmas shopping. People expect to spend on average £164 with independent retailers.

The increasing cost-of-living is impacting general attitudes towards gift-shopping. A third of people (33 per cent) are buying fewer gifts overall this year, while 27 per cent are buying gifts for fewer people. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of people started buying presents earlier in the year to spread the cost, a fifth (19 per cent) have taken advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday reductions, and one-in-ten (11 per cent) are buying the same number of gifts as in previous years but purchasing cheaper alternatives. Although many are taking measures to mitigate cost-of-living challenges, one-in-five (19 per cent) will be buying gifts as they normally do.

A wide range of independent retailers are set to benefit from the festive spending, with clothing and arts and craft shops set to see the biggest windfalls:

Top ten independent retailer categories set to benefit from Christmas spending – Direct Line business insurance, 2022


Independent retailer category

Percentage of shoppers buying from independent retailers who will purchase Christmas gifts from them


11 per cent

Arts and crafters 

9 per cent


9 per cent

Novelty gift shops

9 per cent


7 per cent

Children’s toy shops

7 per cent


7 per cent


7 per cent

Card shops

7 per cent


6 per cent

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance commented:

“The past three years have been turbulent for small businesses. Soaring operating costs combined with shoppers tightening their belts are causing increasing concerns to independent retailers. Christmas is an extremely important trading time for small businesses, so it is great that people understand the need to support small businesses in the face of extreme competition from the major chains and online-only stores and a cost-of-living crisis.”

It is always important that SMEs have the right insurance in place to help protect themselves in case things do go wrong. Direct Line business insurance offers a wide range of insurance cover for small businesses. For more information please visit:


(1) Opinium survey of 2,000 UK adults, conducted 18th-22nd November 2022

Direct Line Group

Unni Henry

PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

About Direct Line business insurance

Launched in 2007 Direct Line business insurance now has over half a million customer policies, providing a flexible range of insurance products for the landlord, van and small business sectors.

Direct Line business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line business insurance and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line business insurance products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting