Cynical Britain still trusts local retailers. Mostly.

Woodlands local convenience store

An increasingly untrusting public still thinks local retailers put consumer interests before their own, according to the latest industry report from independent shopper research agency Shoppercentric.

The research, entitled: “WindowON… Trust Issues”, was carried out across 1,048 UK shoppers aged 18+ and looked at how shoppers feel about the retailers and brands they purchase from.

Britain in 2017 was revealed to be a nation of cynics, with almost half of respondents (46%) failing to agree at all with the statement that they are trustful of others.

Despite this, independent and local retailers managed to score a respectable average 6.5 out of 10 on a scale where 10 meant “put consumer interests first” and one was “all about their own interests”. This was some way ahead of supermarkets, who lagged behind with an average of 5.9.

To put the figures into context, the NHS was considered most altruistic with a score of 7.6. Propping up the table were banks and the government, both rating 4.5.

Women were more generally more positive towards all institutions measured but even more likely to feel indies put consumer interests first.

The report wasn’t all good news for local retailers. Promotions that aren’t as good as they sound will raise the blood pressure of 59% of consumers to the point where they will consider shopping elsewhere.

In fact, over one-third of consumers (36%) have stopped buying a brand or using a company because they were uncomfortable with something they did or stood for.

Other major irritants for shoppers included retailers trying to be manipulative, short-coded stock and a lack of staff when stores are busy.

“These days if shoppers don’t like what a retailer or brand says or does, they can vote with their wallets because they have so many choices available to them,” said Danielle Pinnington, Managing Director at Shoppercentric. “When all else feels equal, such as price, range and accessibility, it can be the sense of connection, or not, that can lead a shopper to remain loyal to their usual retailer.

“Unless retailers and brands understand the potential impact that trust issues – big or small – can have on shoppers, they run the risk of falling foul of shoppers who are increasingly aware, thoughtful and willing to act.”