British shoppers increasingly likely to head to the local store

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 27th October 2008

More and more British shoppers are now walking to their local shop; according to research commissioned by My Shop is Your Shop and Unilever’s leading brands Flora and Persil Small & Mighty. The research has revealed a short walk to the local independently owned store is saving British shoppers over £2 million per day in fuel costs.

Campaigners suggest the credit crunch has combined with increasing consumer awareness of climate change issues and higher fuel costs to offer a platform from which small shops can begin a new drive for increased shopper visits.

According to the study of 20,000 shopping transactions, which involved 52 retailers this year, it’s not only the credit crunch and rising fuel prices that are playing a significant part in the rising number of Brits walking to the shops, but also the worry about carbon emissions.

“This data gives the independent sector a new basis for increased footfall. Small shops are a community amenity entirely divorced from the large multiples who are marketing their offering based on price,” Alan Toft, Chairman of The My Shop is Your Shop Campaign, noted.

“With petrol prices reaching higher levels, people are increasingly starting to shun their cars and walk to the shops instead. The benefits of this are threefold – it’s good for people’s health and wealth; great for the planet and also excellent news for Independent shopkeepers.”

Mr Toft added that retailers should use the theme of Walk & Shop and point out to their customers the environmental and cost benefits resulting from using their store. “Think Global, Shop Local is a platform which can build sales,” he suggested.

The My Shop is Your Shop campaign in Britain is designed to celebrate and improve consumer awareness of the value to the community provided by the country’s 45,000 local independent convenience stores, newsagents and rural shops.