Christmas Shopping in Barking! Join the #IndieXmas #ShoppingCrawl by @lbbdcouncil

Guest blog by Alex Jeremy, the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” local activation partner for Barking on behalf of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council.

Independent retailers in Barking, East London are delighted to be taking part in the ‘Celebrate an Independent Christmas’ campaign in a bid to drive footfall and boost sales across the town centre this Christmas. The initiative is a great way to show off the array of independent shops in Barking, in a borough which has one of the highest start-up rates for new businesses in the country.

Shop with local, independent retailers in Barking!

There are 16 shops from a range of different retail sectors taking part in the shopping trail, which runs for a month from Saturday 24 November to Monday 24 December 2012. Guray Tuncbiz from London Technical Services was first to sign up to the trail less than a day after the campaign advert went out: ‘It’s good to see local shops and business being promoted in innovative ways during this difficult economic climate.’ Padma Sadnani from Precious Moments Captured has been equally enthusiastic about the campaign, saying: ‘This shopping trail is a great idea. As a local business owner, I am keen to take part in anything that encourages people to shop locally.’

barking christmas shopping crawl

Padma Sadnani, Precious Moments (left), Guray Tuncbiz, London Technical Services (right)

Complete the Barking Shopping trail for a chance to win fantastic prizes!

Each time they visit one of the participating retailers, shoppers can get their trail map stamped, even if they don’t make a purchase. Those that complete the trail by getting 16 stamps will be entered into a prize draw to win some fantastic prizes, including designer clothes vouchers, football tickets, a Christmas hamper, jewellery and much more! Trail maps can be picked up from any participating retailer, Barking Learning Centre or Dagenham Library, or downloaded from the link below. The closing date for completed entries is Friday 11 January 2013.

Local community pull together to support the Barking Shopping Trail

Barking’s Christmas Shopping Trail is backed by Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Barking and Dagenham Council, and is being promoted through local Tenant and Resident Associations, libraries, schools, local press and social media, as well as by the retailers themselves. Since the shopping trail has begun there has been considerable interest from other shops and retailers, which is promising for future high street initiatives.

For more information on Barking’s Christmas Shopping Trail, including which shops are taking part and where to download or pick up a trail map, please visit: You can also contact the organisers on twitter – @lbbdcouncil or join them on facebook –


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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