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British consumers want government to back the growth of smaller independent retailers, finds poll

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

As reported in Talking Retail, nearly three quarters (72%) of British consumers want the government to do more to back the growth of smaller independent retailers, according to new research.

The research by Pure360 found that nearly half (42%) of respondents would consider shopping with an independent retailer because they prefer to support smaller operations over a larger retailer.

It appears the surge in support for independent retailers is due in part to the customer service, with nearly half (43%) of respondents claiming they would consider shopping with an independent over a larger retailer because they are treated like a valued customer rather than just a number. Meanwhile, 39% of consumers favour independents because of the personalised experience they receive, while the same proportion of respondents like them because they offer different products to larger retailers.

The research showed that awareness of the smaller operations is growing, with almost two thirds (63%) of consumers having heard of new independent retailers in last 12 months. For 39% of respondents, they have been introduced to these retailers by friends and family, followed by 20% discovering them through social media advertising.

Komal Helyer, marketing director at Pure360, said: "We're witnessing the emergence of a real David versus Goliath story within the retail industry, which consumers are clearly getting behind. Independents offer a niche product set, a more personalised experience and crucially, can adapt quickly to the changing needs and situations of a consumer. For many larger brands this level of agility is insurmountable, making them look outdated and disconnected, which is leading to closures and collapse that is being reported increasingly.

"For independents, there is a significant opportunity to serve a real purpose in the lives of consumers, if they understand what is achievable and the technologies available to do so. With the right technological support brands can leverage data to demonstrate relevance, usefulness and offer a personalised experienced at every stage of the customer journey, enabling them to win the battle."

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