Christmas boom for independent retailers

·        Christmas spending at independent retailers expected to increase by 15 per cent this year

·        Two thirds (66 per cent) of Brits shop at independent retailers to support local employment

·        One third (33 per cent) of Brits lost one of their favourite independent shops in the last three years due to closure

Independent retailers are expecting a Christmas boom, as research predicts spending to increase by 15 per cent this year. With the festive season fast approaching, many Brits are continuing to support independent local businesses with present purchases.  

Direct Line business insurance research1 has revealed those shopping at independent retailers are planning to spend an average of £189 for presents at local shops this year, compared to £1642 in 2022. And more positively it showed that one in eight shoppers (13 per cent) said that they would look to buy more presents from independent retailers this year.

Supporting local employment is a key reason why 66 per cent of Brits are shopping at independent retailers, with other motivations including being able to find more unique gifts (60 per cent), better customer service (56 per cent) and better quality presents (41 per cent).

Alongside supporting independents, more than four fifths (81 per cent) are also changing their Christmas shopping in a bid to save money. Nearly one in four (24 per cent) have started shopping earlier to spread the cost over multiple pay cheques and one fifth (23 per cent) are buying fewer gifts.

While 32 per cent of those shopping local will enjoy the buzz of strolling the streets to shop instore, nearly one quarter (24 per cent) will do so from the comfort of their sofas.

Despite the expectation for a bumper Christmas, it’s been a tough time for local businesses which is reflected in a third (33 per cent) of Brits having experienced one of their favourite independent shops closing over the last three years.

While those shopping at independent shops are doing so for a range of items, there is a difference in purchases between 18 – 34 year olds and those over 55 years with the younger generation turning to clothes while over 55s are relying on them for books. 

Most popular items for 18 – 34 year olds

Most popular items for 55+


30 per cent



30 per cent


Novelty gift shops

25 per cent


Novelty gift shops


26 per cent



24 per cent


Arts and crafts


26 per cent



24 per cent

Delicatessen such as Chocolatiers or Cheesemongers

24 per cent



24 per cent


22 per cent

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

“We continue to see changes in Christmas spending, but it’s great to see that while people are being careful about their expenditure, supporting independent businesses and the local community remains a key priority for many this year when buying gifts for their loved ones.”

Direct Line business insurance offers a wide range of insurance cover for small businesses. For more information please visit:


Notes to Editors

1 Opinium survey of 2000 UK adults conducted 10th- 14th November 2023

2 Three quarters of Brits believe supporting independent retailers is important, ahead of Christmas - Direct Line Group

For further information please contact:

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 UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.