SHOPPERS in the UK feel a sense of loyalty to small businesses – with hairdressers, newsagents and butchers topping the list of our high street favourites.
Over 60 per cent of shoppers stay with the same suppliers for up to 10 years, but many remain true for decades – with one in seven shoppers going to the same small shops their parents used.
A quarter said they prefer knowing staff by name and a fifth like to simply order “the usual” when shopping locally.
The AXA study showed that hairdressers have the most loyal customers, with 55 per cent saying they have a long-standing relationship with their usual stylist.
Over four in 10 trust their hair stylist with intimate details of their private lives, including family gossip, health issues and whether they’re trying for a baby.
In contrast, a wary 51 per cent of Brits find it false if a supermarket cashier asks about their day – while 13 per cent claimed they’d never been asked.
As well as the likes of butchers and newsagents, florists and traditional shoe shops also hold the loyalty of the nation’s shoppers, the poll showed.
Bakers, fishmongers and independent green-grocers were also named favourite high street staples.
One in five shoppers said they’re so close with their chosen high street haunts that they see the staff as friends.
But most claimed their local high street was becoming ‘commercial and samey’ while one in eight deemed theirs ‘tacky and outdated’.
When remembering the high street of yester-year, browsing vinyl was a fondly remembered past-time – as one in three adults mourned the loss of their local record store.
Other most missed businesses were small bookshops and toymakers, along with tailors, seamstresses and shoe cobblers.
And in contrast to their relationships with their local stores, 88 per cent of shoppers confessed they aren’t loyal to the big supermarkets.
Over six in 10 (64 per cent) said just getting a better deal would pull them elsewhere, while a quarter admitted they would switch stores if a different chain was built closer to where they live or work.
Darrell Sansom of AXA Business Insurance, which commissioned the poll, said: “Consumers want to support their local stores for a wide range of reasons.
“Whether they’re on the high street or online, when independent retailers emotionally engage with customers and effectively meet their wants and needs, they are able to build loyal relationships that go on for decades.
“Though there are advantages to the more convenient superstores, and many of us also now shop online – it’s nice to see that people do have a connection to smaller independent businesses.
“We still value the service and personal connection we have with our local stores.”