Proof, it it were ever needed, that #IndieRetail Month DOES work, even in the sales period! via @dressingroom1

So, we are half way through Independent Retail Month and what has it meant to us at The Dressing Room?

Always one to champion the independent cause, I got behind the initiative whole heartedly.  I am so pleased that I did – it has been a great way to engage with our customers.  It is great to remind people of the difference that shopping local makes to their community and to their shopping experience…

July is Sale Period: So events to drive footfall, not promotional discounting, was our aim

With the initiative falling during Sale Time we had to think of innovative ways to celebrate the campaign and drive footfall as discounts would not be an option.  Firstly, we launched some competitions, inviting people to tell us ‘Why do you shop Independent?’  We have had a fantastic response to this,  people love posting their reasons and stories about shopping indie.  We are doing a different prize each week for the best comment.

We are also doing a raffle in store and online.  Every time someone purchases with us in July they get entered into the raffle – the more they shop during July, the more chance’s they get to win a luxury goody bag!  Everyone loves a giveaway and it provokes some great conversations about why people shop indie and how they like to support their local businesses.

Compelling results – 4% increase in sales on key event dates!

On Saturdays to boost footfall during July we are doing double loyalty points – this has had a fantastic effect and has increased trade on Saturday’s by 4%.  This has been a direct result of the promotion.

Should Fashion Retailers get involved with Independent Retailer Month in July, as it’s sale time, or shy away?

To run this campaign during July has actually been a real success – it has driven footfall at a time when we need to shift sale stock, but we can also show people new season stock at the same time.  For me it is imperative to boost margin during sale time by having 30% of my store at full price, it keeps my regular customers interested and entices new customers, so this is a great opportunity.  I will certainly be backing the next Independent Retailer Month campaign and hope that many more will join in!

This feature was provided by Deryane Tadd, Owner/Director of The Dressing Room St Albans, an award winning ladies fashion boutique.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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