Post Offices and convenience stores have topped the list of high street shops and services that have the most positive impact on local communities, for the third year in a row.

The survey of UK consumers and councillors forms part of the new Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Community Barometer. The study also showed that specialist food shops like butchers and bakeries retain popularity among local customers, and that people want to see more specialist food shops, banks and non-food retailers on the high street.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Despite the continuing growth of online shopping and the range of services being provided for consumers on the internet, it is clear that the British public still value the contribution that convenience stores and local post offices make to communities.

“The decline in the number of specialist stores like pharmacies, bakeries and banks has been picked up in part by convenience stores looking to increase the range of services that they offer, especially in isolated and rural areas. The modern convenience store sector is now as much about providing essential services as it is traditional groceries.”

The ACS Community Barometer report also looks at what consumers, retailers and councillors believe should be done to support local high streets.

Reducing the cost of parking in local car parks is a top priority for consumers whereas councillors wish to invest further in public transport and shopping areas, and gain further control over planning regulations.

Retailers believe that reducing business rates is most important following the revaluation of the rates earlier this year.