Glasgow is the UK’s most independent city – does your nearest city rank?

Glasgow is the UK's most independent city according to a study looking at the number of independents versus the number of big chains.

Glasgow is the most ‘independent’ city in the UK, according to new research.

Liberis, a business finance provider, carried out the study by focusing on the number of local businesses per capita in 20 major cities.

The research analysed SIC codes related to restaurants, pubs, newsagents and retail, combining these with a penalty score for the number of big chains (coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and supermarkets) in each city.

It also uncovered which demographics are most supportive towards local small businesses.

What are the top ten most independent cities in the UK?

Here is how the top cities in the UK rank:

Here are the top 10 independent cities in the UK

Glasgow nabbed the top spot in the UK, but Leicester leads the way for England. This is how the winners break down in each category:

The most independent cities by business sector

CategoryTop three cities
Restaurants1. Manchester
2. Glasgow
3. Birmingham
Pubs1. Glasgow
2. Manchester
3. Liverpool
Newsagents/off-licences1. Glasgow
2. Leicester
3. Manchester
Food (grocery/takeaway/cafes)1. Manchester
2. Glasgow
3. Leicester
Retail1. Manchester
2. Norwich
3. Nottingham

The research also reveals that women are more likely to shop at independents whereas men are more inclined to shop at big chains. Meanwhile, 25-34s are the most likely to shop at independents (throughout the year as well as at Christmas). Those who are 65+ are more likely to shop at big chains.

As far as residents go, Liverpudlians are most likely to shop at independents and Bristolians at big chains.

Rob Straathof, the CEO of Liberis, says that it’s promising to see that young people are supportive of independent retailers. ‘With the right support and digital tools, we are confident that the number of UK independents will grow over time. As the new year has now begun, it’s a great time for shoppers to start shopping locally.’

Starting a business in Glasgow

If this study has tipped your preference, Glasgow is a great place for start-ups to launch their businesses.

It’s a cultural hub with a growing creative sector and plenty of funding opportunities. Find out more by reading our essential guide to starting a business in Glasgow.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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