Over 60 per cent of shoppers stay with the same suppliers for up to 10 years, but many remain true for decades – with one in seven shoppers going to the same small shops their parents used.
A quarter said they prefer knowing staff by name and a fifth like to simply order "the usual" when shopping locally.
Hairdressers have the most loyal customers
A classic example of hairdresser loyalty is Sam Farr, 71 from Bristol, who has been going to the same barber in Bath for 42 years – and captured his visits in a series of snaps around 10 years apart. Retired Sam first went to hair stylist Joe Pace, 59, owner of Giuseppe’s in Bath, Somerset, for a crop in the early 1970s. He’s been going back for a trim every year since, even after the salon changed locations.
Sam said: ‘’I think as a whole, we like things to be much the same. Obviously lots of things aren’t the same as they were in the 70s, but the only consistent is Joe.
‘’Everything has changed, while Joe is still there happily cutting my hair and doing a great job of it. ‘’
The AXA study showed that hairdressers have the most loyal customers, with over half of us (55 per cent) saying we have a long-standing relationship with our stylist. Over four in 10 trust their hair stylist with intimate details of their private lives, including family gossip, health issues and whether they’re trying for a baby.
In contrast, a wary 51 per cent of Brits find it false if a supermarket cashier asks about their day – while 13 per cent claimed they’d never been asked.
As well as the likes of butchers and newsagents, florists and traditional shoe shops also hold the loyalty of the nation’s shoppers, the poll showed. Bakers, fishmongers and independent green-grocers were also named favourite high street staples.
One in five shoppers said they’re so close with their chosen high street haunts that they see the staff as friends. But most claimed their local high street was becoming ‘commercial and samey’ while one in eight deemed theirs ‘tacky and outdated’.
Shops we miss
When remembering the high street of yester-year, browsing vinyl was a fondly remembered past-time – as one in three adults mourned the loss of their local record store. Other most missed businesses were small bookshops and toymakers, along with tailors, seamstresses and shoe cobblers.
And in contrast to their relationships with their local stores, 88 per cent of shoppers confessed they aren’t loyal to the big supermarkets.
Over six in 10 (64 per cent) said just getting a better deal would pull them elsewhere, while a quarter admitted they would switch stores if a different chain was built closer to where they live or work.
Darrell Sansom of AXA Business Insurance, said: "Though there are advantages to the more convenient superstores, and many of us also now shop online – it’s nice to see that people do have a connection to smaller independent businesses.
"We still value the service and personal connection we have with our local stores."
The businesses we stick with
- Shoe shop/Cobbler
- Clothes store
- Book shop
The high-street stores we miss the most
- Music/record store
- Book shop
- Shoe shop/Cobbler