Business development · 28 September 2016

Independent shops are the glue? holding communities together

independent_retailers
Of the shopkeepers surveyed, 51 per cent were reported to actively lobby local councils to improve infrastructure
Britain’s independent shops are playing an increasingly important role in local communities, as a new study has shown the strong levels of engagement between shopkeepers and those that they serve in the face of an increasingly bleak outlook for small retailers.

According to a new retail study by AXA Insurance that highlighted the impact of small businesses in local areas, local shops are responsible for 110, 700 community events each year two for each UK town and village while 51 per cent were reported to actively lobby local councils to improve local infrastructure.

Independent stores were found to act as facilitators for further enterprise in the near environment. Of the 300 village shops included in the study, 72 per cent provided retail space for local crafts, artists and food producers, while 30 per cent of shopkeepers said that their shop attracted tourists to the area.

The study drew attention to the culture of goodwill among local retailers, particularly in providing essential amenities to Britain’s growing elderly population. A third of the independent shopkeepers surveyed said that local pensioners wouldnt be able to find an alternative store if they closed.

In a statement, Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, celebrated the local networks? cultivated by independent shopkeepers, as stores act as an effective force for good in the community.

across the country local shops are the glue that holds communities together and help people feel a sense of local identity and pride, said Sansom.

The AXA study claimed that one in ten independent shops have closed in the last decade, and more than half of the retailers surveyed said that their shopping district is in decline due to under-investment.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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