Communities and shoppers respond better to independent retailers than to major multiples, but only if they harness their advantages, according to new research from ACS and Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

The new research reveals that some of the key advantages for independent operators are the greater discretion they have in decision-making, their ability to shape the culture of their business, the close relationship between staff and the owner, their ability to take risks, and lower costs for monitoring and controlling operations.