As a report reveals independent shops represent less than a half of the UK's convenience sector, one store is celebrating survival against the odds.
Hagley-based delicatessen and fresh food shop The Hamper, is celebrating its 20th birthday this month.
The shop, founded by Jill Gall, has been forced to adapt to the increasing encroachment of supermarkets on its speciality food products.
"When mum started we sold a lot of smoked salmon, olive oil and balsamic vinegar," said Emma Gall, Jill's daughter and co-manager of the business.
"But, in the last few years. we've seen the supermarkets sourcing them for a much lower price.
"Last Christmas was particularly bad for smoked salmon sales. We also saw a drop in the sales of food gift sets, which are also being sold by supermarkets."
Ms Gall said the business had maintained its customer base - which has included Lord and Lady Cobham and the Richardson brothers - by continually sourcing products not found elsewhere.
"When I joined my mum in the business it meant we could do twice the work and source more products," Ms Gall said.
"We now concentrate on local produce and hand made items."
The shops biggest seller is cheese. It sells 30 different varieties, with over 60 per cent coming from English farms.
However, Ms Gall said she would still be happy to see the power of supermarkets restricted.
"I'm all for those organisations campaigning to investigate the power of supermarkets," she said.
"They affect a huge of number of different businesses - from those who produce from scratch to local shops such as ourselves."
Analysts IGD say the number of local independent shops are continuing to drop, despite an increase in spending.
The number of convenience stores which are not affiliated to any chain or brand slumped by 3.6 per cent to 25,893 in the 12 months to April. This gave them a 49.2 per cent share of the convenience store sector - down from 50.4 per cent the previous year and from 53.1 per cent in 2003-04.
The number of convenience stores owned by large chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, M&S Simply Food and Budgens rose by two per cent over the past year. The shifting face of the sector came as spending in local grocery shops rose by four per cent to £24.9 billion. This outpaced the 3.4 per cent growth in the overall food and grocery market during the same period.
But IGD senior business analyst Stewart Samuel said it was the first time that "non-affiliated" stores had seen their share of the sector drop below 50 per cent.
Mr Samuel added: "Other reasons for the long-term decline include families coming out of the sector as the next generation chooses a different career."
Ms Gall said she was happy to be continuing the business with her mother and that the future was bright for The Hamper.
"At first I wasn't sure whether I wanted to join mum in the business, but after seeing a bit of the world i realised I wasn't going to be missing out on anything," Ms Gall said.
"Now I want to concentrate on developing our catering service and to carry on the work mum has done. If we keep a personal service and provide quality products I believe our future is bright."