Shoppers to spend £4.4bn with small retailers this Christmas

British shoppers to buy nearly one fifth of presents from independent retailers, spending on average £88 with indie shops

Small retailers and independent businesses are set for a very SME-rry Christmas this year.

This Christmas UK shoppers will spend £4.4bn with small retailers, with £140.4m being spent every day in December.

People plan to buy nearly one fifth of their gifts from independent businesses, each spending £87.51 on average, according to research.

>See also: Delivery tips: The 12 do’s of Christmas logistics

The Direct Line for Business survey found that supporting local businesses is extremely important to 93 per cent of people across the country and that independent shops ensure communities have a distinct local character (91 per cent).

Nearly nine out of 10 people think that without supporting local retailers, British high streets will be hollowed out with “clone” multiple retailers, and that high streets will die out unless small businesses are supported (85 per cent).

Hearteningly, 76 per cent of shoppers think that the service in independent retailers is better, while three fifths (60 per cent) believe the quality of goods from indie shops is higher than major chains.

Age breakdown of Christmas shopping among small businesses

Age groupAverage proportion of gifts expected to be bought from small, independent retailers this ChristmasAverage spend at small, independent retailersEstimated total spend at small, independent retailers
Source: Direct Line for Business 2019

Millennials (18 to 24-year-olds) are the most supportive, spending the most (£110) and buying the highest proportion of their gifts from independent retailers.

Regionally, people in Northern Ireland (23 per cent ) are set to buy the highest proportion of their gifts from independent retailers.

The North West will see the highest number of people buying presents from small retailers, with 98 per cent of adults, some 6.7m people, choosing to do so. Those living in the North West, with an average spend of £105, will account for one sixth of the total spend on small businesses in the UK this Christmas.

And it is the Generation X-ers (45 to 54-year-olds) who have the deepest pockets, collectively spending £1.1bn between them at indie shops.

>See also: Black Friday responsible for increase in spending over Christmas

The British Retail Consortium expects about £82bn to be spent on Christmas gifts this year, compared with over £80bn spent in November and December 2018 – the lowest amount spent on Christmas gifts since 2008.

Consumer Intelligence surveyed a sample of 1,090 UK adults for the Direct Line for Business survey, which was conducted between November 28-29.

Further reading on Christmas

Missing Christmas day a reality for SME owners



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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...