Independent retailers who work together can boost their annual sales by an average of up to £30,000, according to a new report.

The Value of Collaboration report, commissioned by American Express, found that by collaborating through activities such as joint marketing events, loyalty schemes, local events and joint promotions, retailers can increase their sales by almost £900m nationally.

Small businesses can also achieve day-to-day cost savings of an average of £3,000 a year by helping each other with minding each other’s shops, taking in deliveries, doing a bank run or providing loose change, for example.

In total, 73% of  the 420 respondents said they were supporting each other in some way, be it discussing business challenges with peers, comparing performance or discussing the trading environment.

Mark Roper, head of UK merchant services at American Express, said: “Whether it’s the local deli and off licence putting on a joint cheese and wine night, or an entire high street running a seasonal promotion, small merchants across the UK are clubbing together to improve their collective lot.

“It makes strong business sense, delivering tangible returns in terms of boosted sales and saved labour costs and it is a trend that is increasing. One in six respondents said they plan to collaborate more in the next year or so.”

The report was carried out by retail specialists researchers Conlumino.