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.