An independent data analyst has confirmed what many readers of C-Store will already know - that sales through the independent sector are holding up well in the recession.

Data from SalesOut, which measures the sales movements from wholesaler to retailer, shows that turnover in the independent trade is up by a moving annual total of 4.8% in the past 12 months.

Year-on-year sales growth peaked at 7.8% and 8% in January and February respectively - probably helped by the wintry weather but also by consumers choosing to shop more frequently and more locally instead of making larger purchases in out-of-town superstores. Only in May 2008 was there a decline, when like for like sales were down by 0.9%.

The data is based on a sample of 5,000 independent retailers, 3,000 of which are symbol outlets. SalesOut currently works with Nisa-Today's, Booker, Musgrave and Appleby Westward to compile its information.

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