Supermarkets are now the biggest threat to local communities

New research shows that the majority of independent shopkeepers feel that they and their local communities are most at risk from the continual expansion of supermarkets.
The direct threat to their livelihoods is down to the buying power of the big chains which the independents cannot compete with.
Market research company Opinion, sent out questionnaires to 1,100 independent retailers consisting of grocery stores and newsagent across the UK. Out of these 55 per cent said the reason customers came into their shops was conversation and local news as well as for groceries.
A further 90 per cent said that their biggest worry was for local communities due to the rapid expansion of supermarket chains.
The survey was commissioned by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors and the results were released to tie in with National Independents’ Day which has been organised by the Federation to raise awareness of the importance of the small local shop.
Professor Alan Hallsworth, reader in retailing at Surrey University’s School of Management warned, “This research tells us that the financial and marketing might of the large multiples is the single biggest threat to the survival of small shops across the nation and when coupled with the prohibitive red tape facing independent retailers, it can paint a stark portrait for the long-term survival of small shopkeepers.”
As a result of the survey’s finding Prof Hallsworth is asking consumers to support their independent shops. He said, “There is a very real role that we can play. Just by calling into one more local shop than we already do, will generate an extra 60 million shopping trips.”
Mark Prisk, Shadow Minister for Small Business said: “Independent retailers are vital to our High Streets. They bring variety to our town centres, and offer a personal quality in their service, which more and more people value.
“Specialist independent retailers also have a passion and knowledge which makes shopping a real pleasure.”
A group that represents 25,000 businesses, The Forum of Private Business are calling on the Government to do more for small independent retailers.
The Forum’s campaigns manager Victoria Carson said: “The quality of service and choice at independent retailers cannot be matched by the likes of the supermarket giants.
“Independent retailers play a vital role in sustaining the local economy and maintaining a vibrant high street.”

Leave a Reply