Join a Christmas Shopping Crawl in 1 of 40 UK towns to Celebrate #IndieXmas

Shoppers UK-wide are in for some fantastic retail therapy! By taking part in one of the many Christmas Shopping Crawls launching across the UK they can make Christmas shopping more fun, have a chance to win fantastic prizes, AND be confident that whatever they spend they’ll be having a really positive impact on their local community and economy.

Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign launches on 12th November 2012!

The Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign aims to improve footfall to our high streets, towns and village centres, to increase consumer confidence, and to boost retail sales at the all-important Christmas period. Focused on connecting consumers with local, independent retailers, the campaign has managed to capture the imaginations of over 40 towns and retail centres UK-wide.

Christmas Shopping Crawls

The shopping crawls, or trails as some are being called, will start on different dates in each of the participating areas. Consumers collect a map of the crawl, visit each of the listed stores, discovering retailers they may have overlooked in their routine shopping trips. They get their crawl map validated, and, upon achieving the qualifying criteria are entered into a prize draw. Each town has secured an array of amazing prizes – one is offering a fantastic holiday, another over £1000 in cash! To further help shoppers identify their local independent stores over 7500 window posters have been distributed either with the BIRA publication or by the campaign team.

Celebrate an Independent Christmas – A spin-off from Independent Retailer Month

The “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign is the brain-child of retail expert, Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion who also leads Independent Retailer Month in the UK. Rayner said “Christmas Shopping crawls are intended to be a lot of fun for consumers, however, for independent retailers activities like these can really boost their footfall and sales. Christmas is the most important time of year for all retailers, some sectors achieve c. 60% of their annual profit in the last 6-weeks before Christmas! If we, as consumers, don’t want to lose even more of our local, independent businesses then we need to support them! A campaign like this achieves that but also makes it fun for those involved.”

Rayner added “Research from BIRA and O2 Priority Moments has shown over 16% of our independent traders do not expect to survive 2013. Times are tough for everyone, but those with high street premises are battling spiralling costs, in particular business rates. What many people aren’t aware of is how valuable their £1 spent locally can be. It’s been quoted that for every £1 consumers spend in their local independent businesses approximately 50p – 70p circulates back into their local economy. Whilst for some consumers shopping online, or out-of-town, may save a little time, perhaps a little money, for that same £1 spent only 5p trickles back into their local economy.”

Shopping locally with Independent Retailers really boosts your local economy

The campaign urges consumers to spend a proportion of their Christmas budgets – be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering – with local, independent businesses and all those who serve consumers – bars, restaurants and salons as well as traditional shops. In many towns shoppers will be given a “thank-you” card, that thanks them for their custom and explains the value of their £1 spent locally – an important feature of the campaign is about ensuring consumers understand the impact they can have even if they only make small adjustments to their routine shopping habits.

Do your Christmas Shopping with Independent retailers for special gifts, unique outfits and and more personal service!

In the BIRA / O2 research some 40% of consumers indicated that they valued independent retailers for the more personal shopping experience and service they delivered. Others indicated it was because independents typically had more unusual or unique products that could not be found elsewhere. So for consumers who are looking for a bit of indulgence at this celebratory time of year, if they are seeking more unusual gifts, unique outfits, delicious treats or special social occasions, they should take time to explore their local independents.

The campaign intends that the community spirit and engagement created between the shoppers and local traders will continue well beyond Christmas itself, meaning that those towns who take part can look forward to a positive start to 2013.

To find out more about the Independent Christmas Campaign visit or follow on social media – twitter via @IndieRetailUK, hash-tag #IndieXmas or

To find Independent Shops near you visit, or, if you are an independent retailer, add your details for free!

A full list of towns involved in Christmas Shopping Crawls can be found at Towns that have upgraded to a full page feature for their crawl are highlighted in bold, red text. One example is Lytham St Anne –

You can also see a full list of participating areas below. Each of the named individuals is the “local activation partner” for the town.

First name Surname Email address Contact number Town / Area supported
Andrew Knapp 01873 719151 Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Paul Taylor 07848 038830 Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Alex Jeremy 0208 227 5243 Barking, London borough of Barking and Dagenham
Mary Jane Armstrong 07931 918206 Bo’ness, Falkirk, Scotland
Jennifer Smith   Burford, Oxfordshire
Linda Bullimore   Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
Neil M Scowcroft 07944 632184 Buxton Spa, Derbyshire
Bonnie Grills 01840 212305 Camelford, Cornwall
Sue Fernandez 0161 282 0011 Cheadle, Greater Manchester
Sue Fernandez 0161 282 0011 Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester
Andy Delooze 01244 400045 Chester, Cheshire
Emma Turner 07824 326326 Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Sally Halson 01327 828391 Daventry, Northamptonshire
Sandra Grant 01306 885001
xtn: 3803
Dorking, Surrey
Clare Brett 01582 891405 Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Sue Taylor 07810 885766 Exeter, Devon
Gillian Bain 01346 512255 Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Sue Fernandez 0161 282 0011 Gatley, Greater Manchester
Michay Matthews 01422 360035 Halifax, West Yorkshire
Mike Allenby 07770 820991 Hatch End, London borough of Harrow
Sue Fernandez 0161 282 0011 Heald Green, Greater Manchester
Alan Trail 01436 671731 Helensburgh, Argyle and Bute, Scotland
Kirsty Pollard 01455 631984 Hinckley, Leicestershire
Louise Yexley 01462 759700 Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Louie Clegg 01543 304441 Lichfield, Staffordshire
Jessica Learmond-Criqui 07770 231367 London (Hampstead)
Irena Lane 0207 928 4050 London (Southbank)
Natalie Peters 01253 734764 Lytham, Lancashire
Jenny Hunt 07969 094320 Maidstone, Kent
Derrick  Armitage 01896 822759 Melrose, Borders, Scotland
Shelagh Core 07919 330849 Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Jacky Knapp 01600 729030 / 01873 719151 Monmouth, Monmouthshire
Kate Yardley 07909 901 980 Oakham, Rutland
Jen Garrity 01494 434116 Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire
David Jones 01924 565121 Ossett, West Yorkshire
Debbie O’Brien 01706 926676 Rochdale, Lanchashire
Claire Ramsbotham 01279 868500 Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Linda Frampton 07973 826481 Selsey, West Sussex
Janet Collins   Skipton, North Yorkshire
Sue Fernandez 0161 282 0011 Stockport, Greater Manchester
Jane Hatton   Sudbury, Suffolk
Mike Crane 01895 259854 Uxbridge, London borough of Hillingdon


The ‘Celebrate an Independent Christmas’ campaign focuses on engaging local independent businesses, those who serve consumers, to create “activation events” which will be fun AND which will have a positive social and economic impact in their locale. The campaign is a nationwide effort to improve footfall to our high streets, towns and village centres, to increase consumer confidence, and to boost retail sales. Local activation partners, such as Town Centre Managers and Town Teams, will help retailers and consumer facing businesses to deliver “Christmas Shopping Crawls”. The campaign will be supported by a wide range of business organisations and aims to reach consumers with the support of local press, media, councils and the retailers themselves.

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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One Response to Join a Christmas Shopping Crawl in 1 of 40 UK towns to Celebrate #IndieXmas

  1. Dorking, Surrey has just started its Christmas Crawl – 33 shops all pushing together in an attempt to increase footfall. Today its wet and we really need more people to come into our super shops and look around and keep money local. We have incredible stock at realistic prices in Dorking , everyone should explore our intependent stores in our unique town which has he only Christmas light of Cockerels pulling santa in the UK! Happy Christmas – Caroline

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