UK shoppers expected to spend £8bn at independent retailers this Christmas

UK shoppers are expected to spend £8.4 billion at independent retailers over the festive period, according to a new report from Direct Line business insurance. 

This is an increase of almost two billion from last Christmas, when consumers planned to spend £6.5 billion and will see a significant boost for the independent sector. 

Consumers anticipate purchasing almost a third, 28 per cent, of Christmas shopping from independent retailers, spending on average £204, compared to £157 in 2020. 

In addition, 44 per cent said the overall quality of items at independent stores is better than retail chains , 57 per cent found customer service better and 59 per cent found smaller retailers offered more unusual and unique goods. 

Of the shoppers who plan on going independent, 29 per cent said they will buy mostly online, 26 per cent plan to shop in store, with 27 per cent valuing the social interaction and 22 per cent liking to meet the respective business owners. 

READ MORE: Over 1 in 5 shoppers using BNPL credit for Xmas shopping

According to Direct Line, 72 per cent of UK shoppers think it is important to support local retailers, with 70 per cent hoping to help businesses recover from the pandemic and 68 per cent wanting to support local employment. 

“The last two years have been turbulent for small independent businesses, so it’s great to see the British public supporting them this Christmas, recognising that they offer unique gifts, first-class customer service and an excellent quality of goods,” Direct Line SME product manager Jane Morgan said. 

“While it’s exciting that independent retailers are set to benefit from a spending boom, it is important that SMEs have the right insurance in place to help protect their business should something go wrong. 

“At Direct Line, we can cover the majority of risks associated with running a business.”

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