SHOPPERS are expecting to use local shops more after the lockdown, a survey has revealed.

Legal & General’s research has found that 57 per cent of the respondents in the South West plan to buy more goods in local stores and another 57 per cent planning to make more use of local shops such as fishmongers and butchers after the lockdown.

Sunny Patel, owner of Alexandra Park Store and QMS stores on Ferndale Road, has seen a 20 to 25 percent increase in sales.

He said: “People are going more to the local shop because there’s a long queue in supermarkets, elderly people are not able to wait in the queue. And some are more vulnerable.

“Local stores are very convenient, very helpful. Our hope is that our customers will continue to support us even after lockdown. We hope that by supporting the community now, they will keep coming back to our shop to help us survive.”

Some Adver readers are already using their local shops more to support small businesses.

Melanie Ormston said: “I usually shop in a larger supermarket but since the pandemic, the times I have gone there I have become angered by customers picking up food and putting down and most of them are wearing gloves which can transmit the disease and other germs.

“It really angers me.. Now I shop at a smaller supermarket which is definitely organised better.”

Deborah Clark said: “I will try in future, but they need to be a little more competitive. We must support local traders, it’s imperative to their future.”

Natalie Wiles said: “My local shop isn’t expensive. I buy a lot from them. They are a lovely family run business. Always happy to help everyone.”

Tom Shezer added: “By using a small business you’re helping a person directly and encouraging the circulation of the economy, while a big supermarket chain takes your transaction and puts it straight into a hedge fund.”

But some found it was more expensive to shop locally.

Craig Brown said: “I think most corner shops have inflated their prices during lockdown. Our local one has seen massive price increases as well as selling multi pack items individually. I won’t be shopping there.”

CEO at Legal & General Nigel Wilson said: “Coronavirus has changed our behaviour and our priorities. More of us are giving up our time and savings to support local communities and businesses.

“People are paying for services they knew they would never be able to use due to the lockdown – but which made a difference to people’s lives and finances.

“These generous vital gestures make a positive difference to the lives of others in the isolation economy.”