Shoppers are abandoning their cars and shopping locally, according to research by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors. More than 20 million people a day now walk to a local shop saving £2m per day in fuel costs, research from the FWD’s My Shop is Your Shop campaign and Unilever indicated. The study of 20,000 shopping transactions at 52 retailers this year showed the credit crunch, rising fuel prices and concerns about carbon emissions were the reasons behind shoppers walking to independents.

“Small shops are a community amenity entirely divorced from the large multiples,” said Alan Toft, campaign chairman. “With petrol prices up, people are walking to the shops instead. This is good for people’s health and wealth; great for the planet and excellent news for independents.”