Celebrating #IndieXmas in #Exeter thanks to the hard work of local indies led by @cafeat36

Guest blog from the team who have created the Exeter Christmas Shopping Crawl…

It was Arabella of Natural Nursery who first tweeted me about the Independent Christmas Shopping Crawl with a link to the details. Twitter was soon after alive with enthusiasm from a core of  Exeter retailers. A meeting was soon arranged at a local pub on 16th of October, The Prospect Inn and six people attended and started making plans.

Time, dedication and a lot of hard work got the Christmas Shopping Crawl project off the ground

Due to pressure of work, two dropped out (maybe they just realised the sheer amount of effort that was going to be before us to get this project off the ground!)

And so the team was formed with Sue from Cafe at 36 who also took in the mantle of local activation partner; Kirsty from Snappy Snaps – a national name but only in name – this is an individually owned franchise; Amanda from the lovely gift shop Insideout, and myself from Penny’s Recipes who has an online local, organic vegetable ordering scheme which delivers in various locations in the city.

Team work was the key to success in developing the Exeter Christmas Shopping Crawl

And what a team it has been! I am not sure I have ever worked in a team that drives forward together so wonderfully and shares, skills, talent and time all in equal measure. Problems and disagreements have only led to creative discussions and solutions – I am very happy to have met these ladies.

And so we all lobbied some of our local shops with response ranging from unadulterated enthusiasm to almost near rudeness – the latter of course we all found surprising but simply shrugged it off and moved on. It was not long before we had our list of  30 retailers.

A local printer and artist offered to design the map – again through seeing our Tweets –  Nick of Prt Scr Press and Nia of Niaski. A local Councillor supported us and helped us to get funding to cover the cost of materials for printing. Expertise was offered form Westcountry.co to create a website – exeterindies.westcountry.co and a photographer from Snappy Snaps Katie McGahey, did a photo shoot of us all.

The Exeter Indie Shoppping Trail was well and truly born!

And now we launch just one month later, on Friday 16th November at 2.30pm, with Ben Bradshaw, our local MP, opening the event. We look forward to reporting on progress.

This guest blog about the Exeter Christmas Shopping Crawl was provided by Penny of http://pennysrecipes.com/ on behalf of the team who have supported the Independent Christmas campaign in Exeter.

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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One Response to Celebrating #IndieXmas in #Exeter thanks to the hard work of local indies led by @cafeat36

  1. Lucy says:

    I wish we’d known! We are a local company and we would have LOVED to take part! Best of luck with it all- and anyone reading this…get behind local businesses! We have so many fantastic independent businesses here in Exeter, let’s make real use of them this Xmas! Xxx

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