It pays to shop small

New research has been commissioned ahead of Small Business Saturday showing, for the first time, the social and community value of shopping in small independent shops over and above the inherent economic benefits – and as our own research shows this effect extends to markets.


The report shows that small shops across the country are providing £537million worth of added-value services and going above and beyond for their customers and local communities. This equates to £3,058 worth of time donated each year by the average small shop.

The most common examples cited were checking in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, lending a friendly ear or giving advice on personal matters, personally delivering products free of charge and creating or sourcing bespoke items. With communities served by a greater proportion of independent small shops benefitting twice as much on average – £6,998 worth of added value services provided annually per shop vs. £2,956 in comparable areas with fewer independents.

NABMA and the NMTF have recently launched a new campaign: Mission for Markets which will look to update the information gathered in the Market 21 Report (2009) which showed that which shows our national retail markets having a turnover of £3.5bn a year, with the addition of wholesale markets having a turnover of £4.1bn, altogether directly employing an estimated £115,000 people.

Studies carried out in the USA and Canada have estimated the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts equate to a multiplier effect of around 3, suggesting the £3.5 billion turnover directly attributable to retail markets is worth £10.5 billion to the UK economy.