More than half of shoppers believe that it is "very important" to have an independently owned local shop, according to a new survey.
In a poll undertaken by convenience analysts HIM, 56% of shoppers said that independence was "very important" while over 88% said that it was at least quite important.
Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: "This poll is further proof of the importance of locally owned and operated businesses to local people.
"Clearly, a loss of independent outlets would be to the detriment of the consumer."