Index

2. Regional love – how it differs?

Our data also highlights some regional variations. Swiss consumers are the most likely to shop at independent stores for fresh food and groceries (51%) with the Netherlands registering lowest of the countries surveyed (43%), but still showing a healthy love for local businesses.

When you tally shopping across all categories, 32% of consumers across the four countries surveyed shopped at local independent stores, compared to 70% on average who shopped at a chain.
13% of consumers shopped at a local webshop (averaged across all surveyed categories) compared to 21% who shopped at the webshop of chains. So, while chains are clearly favoured by consumers for online shopping, the gap is not so wide that local stores cannot catch up. So this could be a great opportunity for local places to launch an online shop.

All Categories, fresh food, Other food & drinks, Clothing, shoes & jewellery, beauty, personal care & medical, household appliances, computers, smartphones, tablets.

3. The love gap – can you fill it?

One interesting finding of our research is that consumers prefer to shop for fresh food and other food and drinks on local webshops rather than the websites of chains. While the numbers are low with just 3% vs 2% for chains this is a positive sign for local businesses.
The gap between local webshops and chains in the fashion and jewellery category is also small with local webshops preferred by 9% of consumers versus 10% for chains.
There’s no doubt that the major supermarket chains attract a lot of consumers with 56% preferring to shop there for fresh food, however independent stores also perform well in the category with 40% of consumers loving local.

When you look at the averages across the countries surveyed regional variations emerge:

  • 27% of consumers would prefer to shop in brick & mortar local stores in the Netherlands versus 23% in Belgium.
  • Swiss consumers would prefer to shop on independent webshops (10%) compared to the Netherlands (6%).
  • German consumers most prefer the webshops of chains (15%) compared to their European neighbours.

4. Local services – the most loved of all

European consumers are madly in love with local services according to CCV’s research which found that local companies are adept at winning the hearts of customers. They’re also beating the big chains in many service categories.

Services is the area in which consumers really love local.
More than twice as many consumers shopped locally for a range of services from beauty treatments, to restaurants and car maintenance. On average 73% shopped locally for services versus 35% shopping chains.
Infact there was no category surveyed in which consumers shopped more at chains than local independent places for services.

Shopping Local for Services

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local restaurants, bars and cafes were much more popular than chains with 84% of consumers enjoying them, compared to 34%. Local salons were more than four times as popular with 84% versus 18%. When it comes to fitness and sport local independents also beat the chains at 64% versus 41%, while for car and bike repairs local trumped chain with 73% versus 31%. Finally, for accommodation in hotels and B&Bs local triumphed with 59% against 51%.

Clearly, when it comes to services, consumers much prefer to use local independent places and they are voting with their wallets in the support of local service providers. This holds true across all the countries surveyed with nearly double the love for local independents compared to chains.

All Categories, having a beauty treatment, eating/drinking out of home, spending the night, eg. hotel, B&B, doing fitness/sport, having a bike/car service or repair done.

When we asked consumers where they would prefer to buy their services the figures are consistent with where they are already buying their services. 73% prefer to buy local on average across a range of services from eating out to overnight accommodation. This compares to just 27% who prefer chains.

This result shows that when given the opportunity, consumers will overwhelmingly opt for local service providers. When you consider that 35% bought services from chains, but only 27% would prefer to, there could be opportunities for certain service companies to win business from the chains if they can meet demand with the right service.

Prefer Local for Services

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local Bars & Restaurants

84%

Local beauty salons and restaurants are overwhelmingly favoured compared to chains with consumers preferring them each 84% compared to just 16% for chains.
There is no category of services surveyed that would prefer a chain over a local supplier. This aligns with our results showing where consumers actually bought services.

All Categories, having a beauty treatment, eating/drinking out of home, spending the night, eg. hotel, B&B, doing fitness/sport, having a bike/car service or repair done.