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Shoppers across the UK are turning local for their essentials – and helping each other out

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UK shoppers are increasingly turning to local shops, markets and farms for their essentials where they can and are also trying not to stockpile, while looking out for their neighbours.

So finds some heartening research from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, which suggests that half (55%) of consumers want to increase their support of nearby businesses as a result of the lockdown – primarily by visiting local shops and markets when they can do so again.

Respondents in Edinburgh are the most likely to feel this way, with 65% of residents in the Scottish capital planning to focus more of their spending locally.

Despite the challenges facing retailers, Barclaycard’s recent Consumer Spending Index – which compares consumer spending year-on-year – showed some relief for small businesses. Specialist food and drink stores, such as off licences and greengrocers, saw spend grow by 30.5% in March as the nation chose to buy locally and support independent businesses.

In fact, shoppers say that they are looking to visit more local independent/specialist shops, as well as making use of any local farmers’ markets or craft fairs more often. They are also looking to use local tradespeople such as plumbers and builders over bigger companies and are planning to use independent local services such as hairdressers, nail bars, and so on more often when lockdown ends. They are also likely to recommend local shops, pubs and restaurants to friends and family

The findings go on to show that 41% of us have checked in on vulnerable neighbours to see if they need help with shopping – a figure that increases to 48% for stereotypically reserved Londoners. Furthermore, 71% say they have made a conscious effort not to leave others empty-handed by being mindful to not stockpile food.  

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