UK independent retailers up by 110% on 2009

Cafes and coffee shops most popular high street start-up in 2014 with North West said to be Britain’s “independent retail region”

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UK consumers are reportedly turning their back on high street chains after new research has revealed an 110% increase in the number of independent retailers launched in the past five years.

The findings, part of Simply Business’ annual High Street Tracker, reported 2012 as having the biggest rise in independent retailers with a 46% “surge” in local small businesses.

Using data from over 69,000 independent shops, the Tracker also found that the most popular independent start-ups in 2014 were cafes and coffee shops (rising by 31% over the last 12 months); which follows the findings in Startups’ guide on What Business to Start in 2015.

Other popular independents were pubs, restaurants and hairdressers while independent furniture shops, locksmiths and laundrettes “suffered the most” in 2014 with a fall by 83%, 78% and 59% respectively.

Across the UK, the North West had the highest number of new independent shops in 2014 – 10, 917- followed by Greater London with 10, 057. Northern Ireland fared the worst with only 1, 303 new independent retailers.

Simply Business CEO, Jason Stockwood, assessed the findings: “Our latest high street tracker proves the North has the same strong entrepreneurial spirit as the South and you don’t have to be in London to start or run a successful independent business.

“As shopping has become more of a social experience, the high street has adapted over the years to meet changing consumer needs, offering a number of new opportunities for micro-business owners to make the most of.

“I am however disheartened to see the fall in certain sectors which reaffirms our campaign to create more support for our nation’s micro-businesses and sole traders who form a vital part of our society and economy.”

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