Britons are three times more likely to buy locally during the festive season, according to a survey by Visa.
One in five said the personal touch provided by high street retailers drew them in, while 37% appreciated the festive experience and a quarter enjoyed the higher quality of goods on offer. However, two in five of those questioned admitted they would return to shopping at other locations such as shopping centres and retail parks after Christmas.
Sundeep Kaur, head of UK merchant and acquiring at Visa, said: “Christmas is a great time of year to celebrate our high streets and the independent retailers that make them so special. We have met some fantastic independents through our involvement in the Great British High Street Awards and our festive campaign to support the high street but these businesses need our support all year round. We’re urging shoppers to consider adding ‘keeping it local’ to their new year’s resolutions this year and together we can all play a part in securing the future of our high streets.”
The research also found that toy shops were among the most visited independent high street retailers in the run up to Christmas.
Shoppers said they enjoyed visiting local stores rather than online as they could get hold of products without having to rely on deliveries (27%), they liked the uniqueness of products on offer (19%) and the sense of community (18%).
Previous research by Visa has found that late-night shopping events and family or community-focused events topped the list of initiatives that consumers said would make their high street more appealing.