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Indie Retail

Indies on the up as major retail chains navigate tricky conditions

Research by online retailer OnBuy has revealed that independent store openings have grown across the UK, with Scotland, the North West and West Midlands leading the charge.

The analysis compared areas in which new stores opened against areas where chain stores had declined. The only regions not to include independent retail store growth were the East and South East.

The study found that multiples that consisted of more than five stores nationally had seen closures in every region of the UK, except Yorkshire where there was a rise of 11 openings.

The steepest falls were seen in the West Midlands (-143 multiple closures), Greater London (-92 multiple closures) and the East of England (-86 multiple closures).

Independents, on the other hand, grew everywhere except in the East (-19 independent closures) and South West (-29 independent closures) of England. In fact, the North West (230 independent openings), West Midlands (194 independent openings) and Scotland (114 independent openings) saw an extraordinary growth in their independent store markets.

The study also found that multiples that consisted of more than five stores nationally had seen closures in every region of the UK, except Yorkshire where there was a rise of 11 openings.

Beauty salons, barbers, cafés and convenience stores are leading the independent trend, while women’s clothing stores and shoe shops are among the sectors suffering the largest closures.

Discussing the findings, OnBuy managing director Cas Paton said: “It is sad to see well-loved, British companies closing – but we must move with the times. Keen business men and women have their eye on vacant spaces across the country and we must support our local independents, bricks-and-mortar businesses. It’s the only way for retail to survive.”

Online Shoppers

How many UK online shoppers are feeling flush…?

British online marketplace site OnBuy recently conducted a survey of 1,550 consumers to find out about their online shopping habits. And there was just one thing everyone wanted to know – how many shop on the toilet?

The answer? 8% click and buy whilst in the bathroom as an average of overall UK shoppers, with consumers in the West Midlands leading the way at 22%, followed by those in the North East (20%) and Yorkshire (18%).

The most popular place for online shopping was in front of the TV (54%), followed by:-

Bed – 43%

Work – 20%

Other – 19%

Kitchen – 17%

Train/Bus – 12%

Toilet – 8%

On Holiday – 6%

Garden – 5%

While Driving – 3%

These consumers were also asked about the reason behind their purchases. The results were:

I needed the items – 77%

Sales – 38%

It was a gift – 15%

Felt depressed – 6%

After a breakup – 5%

Other – 5%

Was drunk – 4%

Too much money – 3%

Lost/gained weight – 3%

Further results from the survey covered time spent online, buying and browsing habits, plus money spent…

How much time is spent shopping online?

Up to 30 minutes – 47%

30 to 60 minutes – 27%

Less than 15 minutes – 22%

More than 60 minutes – 7%

How often do you shop online?

Once a week – 30%

Multiple times a week – 25%

Once a month – 23%

Once a day – 15%

Multiple times a day – 10%

How much time do you spend browsing online?

Multiple times a week – 29%

Once a day – 23%

Multiple times a day – 18%

Once a month – 14%

How much do you spend online in a week?

£20-50 – 43%

Less than £20 – 32%

£50-100 – 22%

£100-150 – 5%

More than £150 – 1%