Poll boost as festive bargain-hunters are urged not to forget shops from their high street when searching for Christmas presents on the internet


More than two-thirds of Scots say they will shop online with stores from their local high street this Christmas.

The strong show of support for local businesses has been highlighted amid calls for people not to automatically turn to retail giants when shopping on the internet.

And it is being viewed as a critical boost to efforts to help local town centres and the shops found in them pull through the challenges caused by Covid-19.

In a poll of more than 1,000 people, 68% of those questioned said they would do some Christmas shopping from stores found on their local high street when able to when buying online.

The survey was commissioned by Scotland’s Towns Partnership for Scotland Loves Local, the campaign leading the charge for shoppers to think local first, whether in person or online.

Its findings come just days after separate research for the initiative found that just over two-thirds of businesses now have the capacity to take online orders, with a quarter of them having done so since the start of lockdown in the spring.

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “It’s never been more important for us to support our local businesses in any way that we can.

“Christmas is the most critical time for retailers. A successful festive period could be what ensures many of our local shops survive into 2021 and remain there to help our communities recover from the impact of the coronavirus.

“Please do not forget them when shopping online. While many local shops are not able to open their doors at the moment, vast numbers of them are still serving their customers with online ordering and deliveries. It’s vital we support them virtually where we can’t – or don’t feel able to – in person.

“More local businesses than ever before have websites. Search for them, support them and be there for them, just as they have been for us, throughout the pandemic.”

The Christmas research was carried out by the Diffley Partnership while Glasgow and the west of Scotland is under Tier 4 Scottish Government restrictions, during which stores deemed as non-essential are closed.

Mark Diffley, Founder and Director of the Diffley Partnership, said: “The run up to Christmas is obviously a key time for businesses on high streets and up and down the land. Our most recent polling highlights the intention of many Scots to support high street businesses, and the importance of doing so to maximise the chance that these businesses have of surviving in these turbulent times.”

For more information about getting involved with the Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot.

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