Save the best of the high streetUse or lose local high street heroes, Which? says

19 October 2009

Which? Local can help you find a heating engineer

Which? Local can help you find a reliable local trader

A Which? survey has revealed that three quarters of you would like to see more independent shops on your high street.

Fishmongers, greengrocers and ironmongers top your wish list, closely followed by independent bookshops, electrical stores and bakers. 

Most in our survey thought there are fewer independent shops than there used to be and were worried that high street chains are driving your local independent shops and restaurants out of business.

Which? members can use our recommendations website Which? Local to recommend top local shops and track down new ones.

Independent shops vs chains

Which? members say that they value their local shops as they find the staff more knowledgeable than in high street chains, find them more reliable for repairs and feel they have better quality produce than the chains. 

Over 70% also said they prefer independent restaurants to chains.

However, chain shops do have some advantages, with over 40% saying that high street chains offer greater choice and are more convenient for doing all your shopping in one place.

A screenshot of Which? Local

Find local reliable heating engineers on Which? Local 

Help save your high street heroes with Which? Local

You can help to save the best of the high street. If you don’t use your independent shops, you’ll lose them. So if you know a high street hero, recommend them to other Which? members on Which? Local. You can also find shops to support in your area by searching on the site.

Pete Tynan, from Which? Local, says:'Many of these small businesses are the unsung heroes of the high street and do a fantastic job. They just need the support of their local residents.

'There’s no doubt that chain stores have a place on the high street, but our members want to continue to see choice and diversity in their local area. The British high street is worth saving - and if we pull together, we can give it a fighting chance.'

There are thousands of local independent shops on Which? Local already, including those at the top of Which? members wish lists - fishmongers and ironmongers.

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Which? carried out two surveys the first was carried out using a postal insert in the March issue of Which? Magazine, 6,227 members responded, and asked about members attitudes towards independent shops. The second was a survey of 2,177 Which? online panel members in September and asked about which shops members wanted to see on their local high street.