A new trend for small stores to perform better than the large supermarket stores has become apparent in the October retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics. They showed that sales volumes increased in small stores by more than five per cent, while large stores showed a small decrease in volumes over the month.

October also saw the first actual monthly increase in food volume sales for six months.
Ken Parsons, chief executive of the RSA, commented: “Sales figures for the past few months have shown a new trend emerging. The large supermarket chains are actually going backwards in volume sales. This is despite their new store openings, their high-profile advertising and their promotional programmes.  Customers are starting to realise that with petrol at over £6 a gallon, that shopping at their local shops makes a lot of sense.  And it is not only customers that benefit. Small local shops employ more staff per pound of sales than the large multiples. They support smaller local suppliers. They keep local communities alive and keep a high proportion of their turnover circulating in the local economy, rather than being siphoned off. We very much hope that customers continue to spend more of their cash locally into 2012”.