A new report has underlined the importance of local shops to the community and residents’ satisfaction with independent convenience stores.

Commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), the research by the BritainThinks consultancy found that 78% of the UK public think shops are an important part of the community, while 70% say independent convenience stores are of a high quality.

It also found that the range of local shops and places to eat or drink was the most important factor in explaining overall satisfaction with local facilities, although only 54% were happy with the range of local shops in their area.

Independent convenience stores scored higher than ‘supermarket’ convenience stores on popularity, with 53% of respondents saying they would like the former in their area if they did not already, compared with just 18% saying the opposite. In contrast, 40% said they would like a supermarket c-store against 38% who would not.

The report revealed that a ‘clean and well maintained shop inside and out’ was the most important requirement for a local c-store (95%), followed by a good range of products (92%). In addition, 79% of respondents said a c-store that was committed to the community was an essential requirement, but a lower proportion (62%) said the people who run their store were committed to the local community.

Ben Shimshon, Co-Founder and director of BritainThinks said: “This research offers a deep dive into the important role that can be played by shops, places to eat or drink and other businesses in a local area. It shows that Britian’s shopkeepers, restauranteurs, publicans and local business people have a real role to play, and that where they are fulfilling that role, it has tangible impacts on the way people feel about where they live.”