high street

81% of High Street Shoppers Trust Advice Provided by Local Shops & Businesses over National Chains.

A survey of shoppers across the south of England* conducted by A-Plan, the high street insurance broker, reveals that the majority of respondents (81%) favour the advice provided by local shop-keepers and business owners over national chains; with 54% seeking professional advice from staff before making a purchase.

With a majority of shoppers spending up to £40 per visit and 34% choosing to shop locally to support independent retailers, it’s apparent that shoppers in the South are fans of their local high street. In fact, 74% prefer shopping locally to online.

However, despite the clear support for local retailers, a fifth cite insufficient or costly parking as prohibitive reasons for not visiting their high street. And 83% believe their town needs more independent shops: 60% of respondents would like to see a greengrocer on their high street, and 54% desire a local butcher’s.


Carl Shuker, CEO of A-Plan, explained: “As a company dedicated to delivering a personal service to local people, we wanted to gauge exactly how much people value the expertise provided by their local retailers and businesses. It’s almost 30 years since the world-wide-web was created and 24 years since the first online shop, yet despite the huge level of convenience the internet has brought us, it is clear from the survey results, that we still need and value human interaction and advice.

“The antidote to a faceless society is supporting local people and businesses; and providing personalised and genuine customer-service, face-to-face. To this end, we are teaming up with businesses across England to form a local business network enabling A-Plan clients who take out a new car or home insurance policy to spend a £50 pre-paid Mastercard on their local high street. The Local Network card will also provide customers with ongoing discounts and rewards to be redeemed in participating stores.

With 78% of people concerned their high street is losing its identity to impersonal national chains; almost half (47%) claiming their local shop-keepers know them well; and 79% preferring transacting in person rather than online, it’s clear the majority of shoppers have a definite need for local, independent experts providing a personable service to local people.

Key Findings:

    • 74% prefer shopping locally to online.
    • 80% trust the advice provided by local shops/businesses over national chains.
    • 48% seek advice from staff before making a purchase.
    • 90% enjoy talking to staff in their local shops.
    • 80% believe their high streets need more independent shops.
    • 81% prefer face-to-face transactions to online.

For further information about A-Plan’s home and car insurance, and the Local Network Mastercard, please visit your local branch, Monday- Friday 8.30am – 5pm, and Saturday 8.30am to 12pm.

*Survey of high street shoppers in Camberley, Farnborough, Farnham, Basingstoke, Alton, Woking, Guildford, Abingdon, Bicester, Witney, Carterton, Taunton & Yeovil conducted January 2018.