With small shops disappearing from most high streets with the speed and alacrity of a hungry cheetah - except on Upper Street in Islington, where inexplicably, over-priced boutiques selling handbags shaped like teapots are multiplying at an alarming rate - it's no surprise the sector's trade body, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), is up in arms about the spread of high street chains.
The group, which commissioned a poll revealing 80% of shoppers feel the same way, will demand the government does more to help local shops during a conference in London today.
The group will present a 10-point plan to a panel of politicians asking them to allow councils to reduce the burden of costs on 'vital' community stores, and do more to prevent shoplifters, as well as restricting planning permission for out of town developments which divert trade away from high streets.
Chief executive James Lowman said small shops act as a 'key indicator of the health and vitality of our local communities'.
"People recognise and value their local shops, the decision politicians make in the coming months will be crucial in ensuring that local shops survive, local communities thrive and the feelgood factor returns to the UK economy."