Having a pet on the payroll can boost the income of small shops across the UK as a whole by as much as £60 million, according to new research from American Express.
More than a third (36 percent) of shoppers admit they are more likely to visit a particular shop if they know there is a four legged friend there to greet them.
Furthermore, 30 percent say they will linger longer in-store – an extra 13 minutes more, on average and a similar number (32 percent) are more inclined to take the time to talk to the staff of a small shop that has a pet.
However, importantly, animal attraction not only increases browsing time and fosters customer engagement in small shops with pets, it encourages spend.
More than eight million Brits say they would spend on average £6.86 more with a retailer when there is a pet on the shop floor.
The positive influence of “man’s best friend” also extends beyond the high street; of those polled who own a dog themselves, 44 percent said they are more efficient with working hours because they have to take their dog for a walk.
While to some a pet pooch might seem a distraction, dog owners argued the opposite, with 61 percent stating having a dog keeps them company when working alone and 36 percent feel a dog increases their productivity.
Nikki Edelman, director at American Express said: “It might seem unconventional but it appears that business owners who bring their pets to work have the perfect company asset. The presence of a dog can be a great ice breaker for tentative browsers and can even entice new customers through the front door. However, whether you are an animal lover, pet owner or neither, we encourage everyone to paws for thought this Small Business Saturday and show their support for local independents by shopping small”.