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VAT Rise - Corner shops hope to benefit

Corner shops are set to be the main beneficiaries of the VAT rise as millions of Britons shop 'little and often' as they tighten their belts in 2011, a new report has shown.

Soaring household costs including higher VAT and petrol costs mean that more families will try to get the most out of their weekly budget by making regular visits to local stores rather than being tempted to overspend in weekly shops at larger supermarkets.

Independent Retail News says industry experts believe tough economic conditions and rising unemployment on the back of public sector job losses will lead to hard-pressed consumers shopping locally little and often.

Richard Bennett, Spar UK retail director, said: “While we are optimistic for 2011, there are a number of challenges ahead for the convenience sector. The tough economic conditions are likely to remain, but as 2010 has shown us this brings benefits to independent retailers as customers seek to shop more often and closer to home.”

Steve Fox, sales director for retail at Booker, said: “The economy will tighten further as Government cuts are felt, so the trend of shopping little and often will continue and retailers need to offer great value to ensure they capture their share of these sales.”

Willie Hamilton, Budgens and Londis trading director, said the sector faced key challenges in 2011.

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