Independent coffee shops gang up on the chains

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Independent coffee shops are giving the leading high street chains a run for their money, according to new statistics that measure retail store growth.

Coffee shops emerged as the most popular independent store to open in 2014, beating off all other categories of the retail sector, including pubs, hairdressers and off-licences.

Data gleaned from insurance provider Simply Business’ annual High Street Tracker reveals that the number of independent coffee shops to open in 2014 increased 31% on the previous 12 months.

Additionally, the company said that the volume of coffee shops trading in the UK has doubled in the past four years.

Simply Business said independents had benefitted from “growing disinterest” in chain stores from some consumers.

Overall, the foodservice sector accounts for six of the top 10 independent retail groups.

During its research, Simply Business analysed more than 69,085 independent shops from across the retail spectrum, discovering that the largest population is now in the north west, with an 89% increase over the past five years.

“Our latest high street tracker proves the north has the same strong entrepreneurial spirit as the south and you don’t have to be in London to start or run a successful independent business,” said Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business.

Top 10 independent retailers in 2014

1. Café / coffee shop 5,870
2. Take away 5,331
3. Pub / bar 3,857
4. Restaurant 3,508
5. Hairdressing 2,991
6. Sandwich bar 2,556
7. Bakery 2,439
8. Beauty salon 2,401
9. Off-licence 2,186
10. Clothes shop 1,945
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