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    Research lists top 10 high streets for independent shops

    (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, Church Street in Hereford and Broadway in Cotswolds are some of the high streets that are named among the top 10 high streets for independent shops in the UK.

    According to a research carried out with retail experts GlobalData (commissioned by American Express Shop Small), the bustling Victoria Street and West Bow in Edinburgh, Broadway in Cotswolds and Llandeilo, in South Wales are home to some of the UK’s best high streets for shoppers wanting to visit and support independent businesses.

    The top 10 high streets were identified by ranking factors such as the streets with the highest proportion of independent outlets and included other key factors such as variety of business types, number of visitors, and shop occupancy rate.

    The top 10 high streets for independent shops in the UK:

    1. Victoria Street & West Bow, Edinburgh
    2. High Street, Stockbridge
    3. The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells
    4. Church Street, Hereford
    5. Broadway, Cotswolds
    6. Town Centre, Petworth
    7. High Street, Burford
    8. Magdalene Street, Cambridge
    9. The Lanes, Brighton
    10. Town Centre , Llandeilo

    American Express is incentivising people to support their local small businesses through its Shop Small Offer, which gives American Express Cardmembers a £5 statement credit when they spend £15 or more at participating small businesses between Dec 1-3.

    The Shop Small offer will go live on the eve of Small Business Saturday, of which American Express is founder and principal supporter. Taking place on Dec 2 this year, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots campaign which encourages people to shop at local independents and is the UK’s most successful small business campaign engaging millions of shoppers every year.

    In 2022 shoppers spent an estimated £774m in small businesses nationwide on Small Business Saturday.

    Research lists top 10 high streets for independent shops
    Victoria Street in the centre of Edinburgh (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

    Dan Edelman, VP & UK general manager, merchant services at American Express, said, “We know how vital independent businesses are to all our communities, so it’s great to once again hero high streets during this crucial trading time through our Shop Small campaign. With everything from grocery stores, bespoke gift shops and pet stores, there’s something for everyone, and now is the time for people to step out and support the small local businesses on their doorstep.”

    Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, added, “Small businesses are at the heart of communities and play a fundamental role in the spirit and culture of our high streets. They bring innovation, character and charm to our town centres, but also are a critical part of local infrastructure, supporting education, health and mental health. They support local supply chains and services and are increasingly having a positive impact on sustainability. A strong local small business community leads to a strong and vibrant place to live and work. We should do all we can to support these businesses on Small Business Saturday and beyond to ensure they survive and thrive.”

    Matt Piner, research director at GlobalData, commented on the findings, “Despite the challenges small businesses have faced over the past decade, this research shows that a wonderfully diverse array of small businesses remain prominent on high streets across the UK. These small businesses have endured by offering a broad range of services which meet consumer demands, continually evolving in a nimble and agile fashion, and offering a personal touch.”

    A separate survey of independent retail and hospitality business owners, by American Express and Small Business Saturday, also highlighted the importance of the upcoming festive season with 86 per cent stating that the festive period is a vital revenue driver for their business. When asked what they might do differently this year compared to 2022, nearly half (49 per cent) are creating in-store events to drive customer footfall, with a similar number (48 per cent) introducing exclusive products or services just for the festive period.

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