Top reasons to shop locally – including supporting local community

Supporting their local community (33 percent), saving money on fuel (32 percent), and better customer service (23 percent) are among the top reasons why Brits prefer to shop locally, a study has found. Nearly three-quarters of shoppers (72 percent) like to shop local, with 34 percent describing local high streets as the “backbone” of British towns.

And almost a third (30 percent) of the products people buy – from groceries and clothes, to gadgets – are purchased from local stores.

Other benefits to shopping local include supporting small business owners (31 percent), and being able to buy locally-grown products (25 percent).

However, the poll of 2,000 adults found that, of the 83 percent who have a local high street, a quarter would describe it as quiet (26 percent), while 19 percent say theirs is “empty”.

This is because just one in ten currently do their weekly shop in local, independent stores – with 82 percent wanting to shop local, but believing it is cheaper to turn to bigger supermarkets in the cost-of-living crisis.

The research was commissioned by Costcutter, which has also created this quiz to reveal what your shopping habits really say about you – whether you have an eye for a bargain, or are being robbed blind by crafty marketing tricks.

A spokesman for the supermarket group said: “The results shows that although the current economic climate is impacting where consumers choose to shop, the benefits of shopping locally are clear.

“The majority agree that there is better quality, customer service, and an overall friendlier experience if visiting a smaller store over a big chain.

“Local convenience stores have an important role to play in today’s economic climate, and we want to help educate people on the fact they could actually save by shopping nearer to home.

“Lower fuel costs, and fewer distractions and impulse buys, are all ways customers can save in the long run, at the same time as a supporting a local, sustainable business.”

The study also revealed important considerations when deciding where to shop – with price (68 percent), convenience (46 percent), and the range available (39 percent) coming out on top.

Other factors were discounts (21 percent), brands (14 percent), and sustainability (14 percent).

And 61 percent agreed it can be hard differentiating between what’s really a good deal in large stores, and what’s just crafty marketing – although 67 percent regularly look for offers such as “BOGOF”.

Despite this, 18 percent admitted they often get tempted by offers, and exceed their budget – while just one in five always stick to their shopping list while in a larger store.

Shopping sustainably is important to 68 percent of those polled, via

And 29 percent say they often struggle to find someone to help them in a big chain shop, compared to an indepedent store.

The areas in which people are most likely to try and shop with independents were all food related – including groceries (46 percent), restaurants (37 percent), and meat and fish (34 percent).

Other arguments for shopping locally include such stores having additional services, including the Post Office (18 percent).

Costcutter’s spokesman added: “It’s clear that people want to shop locally more often, but various barriers are stopping them.

“The fact respondents described high streets as looking empty and quiet is worrying, and they’ll only get worse if we don’t support the businesses on them.

“Changing habits, such as visiting a local shop for “top up” items mid-week, could make all the difference.”

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