Brits are set to spend £6.5bn ($8.7bn) at independent retailers this Christmas, a study from Direct Line has found.
This equivalent to £209m spent a day, both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores, throughout the month of December.
UK shoppers are planning to purchase nearly a third (29%) of their Christmas gifts from small independent shops this year, spending an average of £157, according to the survey of over 2,000 Brits.
This is an increase of £43 from last year’s average spend, with the 2019 total coming to £4.4bn across the UK.
Some 14% of Brits are planning to do more than half of their Christmas shopping at small independent businesses.
A quarter (24%) said the will spend between £25 and £100 more at independent retailers this year, with nearly one in ten (9%) planning to spend £101 to £200 more at local independents this year than in 2019.
Nearly half (48%) of Christmas shoppers intend to spend more with independent retailers to help them survive the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while almost three quarters (72%) want to help protect local employment in the current climate.
UK unemployment rose at its fastest pace in more than a decade, with redundancies surging to a record high between July and September. The unemployment rate reached 4.8% in the three months to September, up from 4.5% a month earlier, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
Sustainability and environmental awareness is also important for UK shoppers with 48% stating that independent businesses take sustainability more seriously than large corporations. Young people aged between 18 and 34 are most likely to buy their Christmas presents from independent retailers this year, with 54% doing so because they believe that these shops take sustainability more seriously.
Over half (56%) of young people plan to shop at independent stores because they want to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic.
Jemma Holloway, head of SME trading at Direct Line business said: “This year has been turbulent to say the least for small independent retailers. It’s so great to see that consumers want to support local businesses by shopping with them this Christmas.
“Independent retailers offer wonderful, unique gifts, first-class customer service, and are the beating heartbeat of communities up and down the country. The British public clearly recognise this and the festive boost their spending will bring this Christmas will be crucial to the sector’s recovery.”
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