The study of more than 30,000 of the UK’s independent shops insured by specialist broker Simply Business also revealed a 9% rise in the number of tea rooms in high street locations, but an 11% decline in cafés and a 16% drop in sandwich bars.
Confirming the ever-growing popularity around home baking, thanks to TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off on BBC2 and The Fabulous Baking Brothers, which aired on Channel 4 earlier this year, the number of home baking shops has risen by 50%.
Outlets supplying bakery produce have been earmarked as one of the five fastest-growing businesses between 2011 and 2012, along with model shops, musical instrument specialists, fabric suppliers and health food stores.
Jason Stockwood, chief executive officer at Simply Business, said: “It is encouraging to see that the high street is adapting to the new retail landscape, where savvy shoppers have numerous alternatives, including online, out-of-town shopping malls and supermarkets. Our findings show that independent retailers are increasingly looking to specialise or offer something different to alternative outlets, tempting shoppers with a more quirky, unique experience.
“We can also see fascinating evidence that while today’s shoppers still like the finer things in life, they are putting effort into making their own treats and also shopping around for bargains. The rise in fabric shops, bakers’ produce and second-hand shops suggests that Brits are becoming more creative and resourceful with how they spend their money.”