Nearly half of consumers who shop at independent wine retailers cited “supporting small businesses” as their predominant reason for going to indie stores, according to new research from Hallgarten & Novum Wines.

Conducted in collaboration with insights agency Kam, Hallgarten & Novum surveyed 1,185 people that had shopped at independent wine retailers during the past year to discover more about consumer shopping habits.

Some 45% of respondents said their main reason for shopping at independent wine retailers was supporting small businesses, with Hallgarten & Novum partially attributing this to the lasting impact of the pandemic.

In terms of purchasing habits, the majority (56%) of respondents said that ‘taste/description’ was the main influencing factor when choosing a bottle. And 56% also said personal recommendations from friends and family helped inspire their purchasing decision, while 48% followed in-store staff recommendations.

Steve Daniel, head of buying at Hallgarten & Novum Wines, said that now is a “hugely important time” for consumers to support independent wine retailers in light of inflation and duty changes. 

“Understanding what is influencing consumer behaviour is key to this support, allowing us to best cater for the needs of our customers,” he continued. “This can be as simple as having wines open to taste through to promotions on premium bottles to encourage trade ups. It’s clear that consumers value the experience of visiting specialist retailers and these findings offer great insights which can be easily acted upon to improve this experience.”