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Graphs Showing Thriving Independent Business Sectors & Superior Value of Independent Businesses

These graphs are free for you to use unaltered (contact us for a version customized co-branded with your business’ or group’s logo and url). Please include a link from images to when posting on a website. To save large images for uploading to your website, newsletter, etc., right-click and choose “save image as.” If you need a high-resolution file for print publication, just ask.

Tip for Indie Business Groups: tag your members in the relevant categories when posting these graphs to social media — they’ll love it (and likely share your post). Please read the conditions of use. for placing AMIBA graphics on your website, social media, or other materials.

Data from 2019 Consumers Union survey of 78,000+ readers, published in the March 2019 issue of Consumer Reports.

Excerpt: “Last year, the Consumers Union published research showing independent pharmacies consistently sold prescription drugs for less than any U.S. pharmacy chain (see Independent Pharmacies Save You Big Money Over Chains). Now a new survey of more than 78,000 people shows independent pharmacists also outperformed the chains in every other measure! And it wasn’t a close contest.”

Data from 2019 Consumers Union survey of 40,000+ readers, published in the February 2019 issue of Consumer Reports.

Excerpt: “To the growing list of business sectors in which neutral studies demonstrate independent businesses provide superior value, we now can add auto repair and maintenance.”

Data from 2015 Consumers Union survey of 40,000+ readers, published in the December 2015 issue of Consumer Reports. Full report requires subscription. AMIBA combined data from chains within a store category to allow a reasonably simple graph.

A 2014 survey yielded similar results. See graph


Consumers Union 2014 survey of 22,000+ readers.

Excerpt: “…independent retailers meet or beat the big boys on selection and leave them in the dust when it comes to good, old-fashioned service.” (Full report requires subscription.)

Farmers markets have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to growing consumer interest in fresh products purchased directly from local farms. USDA farmers market directory data shows steady growth in the number of farmers markets nationwide.

See more information here.

Prefer a stout or porter?  See Facebook-optimized version of the (Twitter) graphic above. Also, Twitter-optimized light version.

Note: numbers include the same few giant breweries each year; growth is all craft brewers. data from the Brewer’s Association.

Despite this remarkable success, one modern pioneer says the trend may soon change unless antitrust law is enforced.


Graph shows membership in the American Bookseller’s Association, which represents the vast majority of general interest bookstores. Twitter-friendly version here.

See also our author testimonial graphics with personal quotes on the importance of indie bookstores.

You may also visit All About Amazon for more graphics and reporting.


For full-size graphs, including the retail sector, see our Local Multiplier Effect page.


This graph breaks with the trade-specific theme of this page because so many business sectors compete against Amazon Inc. and its vast array of subsidiaries.

See our guide to the best reporting on Amazon and it’s impacts on a range of issues and trades: All About Amazon.

Pages of related interest:

ComeInWereLocal-400x215Posters, window decals and other materials to spread the pro-local message in your community.

The top reasons to choose local independent businesses — with linked sources

The Guide to Building an Effective Buy-local Campaign

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