Consumers believe Supermarkets are killing the High Street
5th November 2010
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According to a new consumer survey commissioned by 'thebestof', the majority of Brits believe their local high street is in decline and Supermarkets are responsible.

A further 60 per cent of those that took the survey agree that the Government isn’t doing enough to encourage and support small retailers.

Over 2,500 people took part in the research which was conducted on-line on the 350 'thebestof' websites across the UK.

The survey comes in contrast to the latest CBI figures which actually suggest high street sales are up, with 58% of retailers saying that the volume of sales rose during October.
There's a real love out there for local businesses, an understanding of their importance to the local economy and a desire to see them thrive.  But there's also a belief that the High Street is under great pressure particularly from aggressively competitive supermarkets. 

Over 80% of us think the High Street is a vital part of a healthy society and 3/4 of the 2,500 people who responded to the survey believe that it's the independent stores that give local areas their personality. But of the same group, 60% think that the High Street is in peril.  

What shop owners need to take from the research is that there are many ways that they can compete with major chains and really start fighting back. For example, by setting up special offers specific to the local area, and by building a reputation as a local champion businesses can really capture the imagination of the community.

There are many things local high street shops can do to boost revenue’s and footfall:

  1. Build and nurture your database of customers so you can keep in touch with them in creative ways. Email, text and social media are all powerful tools that most local retailers don’t utilise properly, if at all; 
  2. Provide a really fantastic service to create ambassadors for your business amongst local customers; thanks to the internet, testimonial can become rocket fuel for business nowadays.
  3. Reward loyalty. So few local businesses do this but it’s easy and it’s core to the strategies of all the big chains like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots. Learn from them; 
  4. Position your business as one of the best, by shouting about accreditations, certificates and showing off all the great testimonials from your customers. Turning your customers into ‘local celebrities’ can work wonders; 
  5. Take responsibility. If there are not enough customers coming into your shop then it’s your job to make it happen. Find a way to make yourself interesting and enticing to local people. Sitting back and waiting for government or councils to do something is a surefire recipe for failure. 


About the Author

David W

Member since: 10th July 2012


I'm the owner of thebestof hammersmith and fulham so I get the chance to write about the borough and all the good things I find as I go around talking to businesses. Join in and tell people about...

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