Hey big spenders! Brits' love of shopping makes us better acquainted with local shop assistant than policeman, family GP or school headteacher Six in ten are on first name terms with shop assistantLess than a third of us know first name of family GPQuarter of Brits even invited to store employee's wedding
21:57 GMT, 9 November 2012
Britain’s love of shopping has thrust an unlikely group of people into the heart of our local communities.
Where once we saw schoolteachers, the family GP and the local bobby on the beat as the pillars of the local community, new research shows that we now have stronger relationships with the people who work at our favourite stores.
The latest survey found that six in ten of us are on first name terms with a member of staff at our favourite local department store.
Six in ten of us are on first name terms with our local shop assistant and some have even been invited to their wedding and been on holiday with them
This compares to less than a third of us who say they know the first name of their GP, around one in 10 of us who know the local school head teacher by their first name and just thirteen per cent who know the first name of a local policeman or community support officer.
Marketing Director for The Original Factory Shop, Colin Leggatt, who carried our the survey, said: 'The results of our latest research confirm a trend we’ve observed over the past few years in the vast majority of the towns in which we operate.
'Shopping is becoming the number one hobby for more and more people.
'For some, it’s even their only hobby. This comes in detriment to other, more traditional leisure activities such as going to the local library or pub.
People spend so much time shopping these days that they are better acquainted with their local shop assistant than their policeman or family GP
'People now spend a lot more time at their local department store than they did 10 or 20 years ago, and they no longer come to us only for our products or services, they also come in for the human interaction.'
Some customers go even further in their relationship with their store assistant and do not stop at knowing their first name, marital status or whether they have children.
A quarter of us have even being invited to a store employee’s wedding, while 12 per cent went on holiday with someone we struck a relationship with after meeting at our local department store.
In contrast, less than nine per cent of us went to our GP’s wedding, with less than one per cent of us having ever shared a holiday with our GP, dentist or pub landlord.
WHO DO YOU KNOW MOST IN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
Department store assistant (34 per cent)
Hairdresser (24 per cent)
GP (13 per cent)
Dentist (9 per cent)
Postman (7 per cent)
Pub landlord (4.5 per cent)
Neighbourhood officer (3.5 per cent)
School’s head teacher (3 per cent)
Milkman (1.2 per cent)
Vicar (0.8 per cent)