Take the Lead and Celebrate Your Independence by Avery UK for #IndieRetail

With Independent Retailer Month now upon us there has never been a better time for small scale retailers and independents to take the lead and show how they can compete with today’s big brands and high-street names. Despite tough trading conditions, there is growth and potential in the independent retail sector as Independent Retailer Month’s Clare Rayner points out in her blog “2011 was a year of growth for Independent retail“. In fact, in many cases independents often have greater flexibility to adapt to survive in times of economic difficulties.

Breaking Down Barriers, turning a good idea into a successful retail business

Whatever your sector, from independent florists to fashion boutiques, it’s important for independents to understand that competing with bigger retailers is completely within theirgrasp. Many of the barriers that used to make turning a good retail idea into a successful retail business are now greatly reduced. For instance, marketing your business and appearing professional is now more attainable and affordable for small retailers than ever before. With the popularity of online communications and social media, independent retailers can be in direct contact with customers and promote themselves for free, avoiding expensive advertising costs. Likewise, when it comes to branding, promotional and merchandising materials, Avery’s Small Business Solutions range means that retail start-ups, independents and online sellers can easily create professional end-results that match the standard of the big brands without paying for bulk orders or design costs.

 Independent retailers actually have key advantages over larger chains

In many instances, independent retailers actually have key advantages over larger chains. Keep in mind that independent retailers can usually have much better control over their output and interaction with customers than bigger operations typically can. Owners of small and independent retail outlets are often likely to be directly involved in employee and customer communications and, as a result, are far more likely to be aware of the overall levels of service their customers receive, as well as the satisfaction levels of both customers and staff.

Celebrate being an Independent Retailer!

Don’t forget to celebrate your status as an independent retailer too!  Remember that chain stores and large retail operations often spend a fortune trying to replicate the intimate personal connections that independent retailers have with their customers. Independents should be proud of the close relationships they often have with customers – this is part of what differentiates their offering from that of a major chain.

It’s widely acknowledged that customers like to feel understood, valued and special to the brands they buy from, which can be a lot easier to achieve as a small and independent retailer. When customers feel all of these things they start to like your brand and trust your service, choosing to buy from you more often and recommending you to others around them. This is when independent retailers can really begin to experience a boost in reputation, popularity and sales.

Celebrate Independent Retailer Month…

So as we move into Independent Retailer Month, Avery would like to take this opportunity to show its support and remind independent retailers everywhere that they really do have the power to reinvigorate our high streets and measure up to the big brands out there!

For further ideas and advice download Avery’s free guide on Making the Right Impression in Business by visiting www.avery.co.uk/SmallBiz.

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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 champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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