Colchester #IndieRetail supported by “Promote Your Shop” for #IndieEaster campaign

Amanda Ruiz, founder of Promote Your Shop has launched her retail marketing consultancy this month and has hit the ground running as she is the Local Activation Partner for the Indie Easter Egg Hunt in her adopted town of Colchester, Essex.

Boosting the confidence of Independent Retailers with the Indie Easter Egg Hunt!

In the lead up to the launch of Promote Your Shop, Amanda has been conducting face to face surveys (they are still open to complete: see ) with retailers, asking them how their approach to marketing, social media and promotions is working. She communicated the initial findings to Clare Rayner – approximately 65% of the respondents did not have a marketing plan and mostly relied on word of mouth for trade. Amanda also found that there is a certain sense of resignation in the attitudes of some shops, so, to try to turn that around, Clare invited Amanda to boost the confidence and attitudes of the independent retailers in Colchester by becoming the local activation partner for the “Enjoy an Independent Easter” campaign and getting the Easter egg hunt up and running there.

Increasing footfall, increasing community engagement, improving sales

The campaign’s purpose is to drive more footfall to the local shops.  In Colchester, due to sponsorship for printing, the cost to each retailer was only £21 – which included artwork and the chocolate eggs (prizes for all those who complete the hunt). Amanda recruited retailers by walking the streets of Colchester and inviting the shop owners to sign up. The local newspaper also put out a ‘call to arms’ piece (twice) to appeal for any interested retailers. You’d think it would have been a no-brainer, but surprisingly given the state of the economy, and the fact that the local council have a new scheme in place banning cars from accessing Colchester high street which was feared to reduce footfall, several shops that Amanda approached declined to take part… However plenty did take her up on the opportunity, and are reaping the rewards!

Colchester Gazette Easter Egg Hunt Feb 5 203

(Call to arms piece in the Gazette)

Creating as much local interest as possible to encourage consumer engagement

Amanda’s approach to getting the campaign going was to use her networking, PR and marketing skills, to create as much interest in the story and to highlight the benefits for the participating retailers. These are the results she has had so far:

  • The initial meeting to brief the 24 retailers about the event was such a success that the retailers requested monthly meet ups to network, share ideas and partner up!
  • An innovative poster was designed by a locally listing all the shops with logos and ‘gravatars’ (head and shoulders photos of the shop owners or mascots), see here. The purpose of the poster is for the retailers to print off and stick to their windows and to encourage retailers to join forces and help refer each other
  • The story on the event have been in the press 4 times
  • The retailers have the opportunity to add their shop details to the website
  • The event has been added to 5 tourism and Things To Do websites
  • Promote Your Shop negotiated free advertising on  – a local listings company that has an impressive 15,000 visitors per month
  • Braintree Community Hospital kindly sponsored the printing and distribution of 20,000 maps, an incredible amount!
  • The event has had lots of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest coverage with retailers joining in and sharing. Here’s a great example:

manns music twitter

Using social media to keep the buzz going about the campaign

Amanda went to the printing factory to press pass the maps and took a video so people can see the interesting print process. Also on the first day of the event, in horrendous weather, a video was taken (by mistake) of the group shot for a press call, but it makes and excellent living photo! See here.

A fantastic outcome, already!

So Amanda’s approach has truly been wide reaching and all that is hoped is that the excellent campaign does drive the traffic to the shops. Initial results show that even in freezing snow conditions, and within 3 hours from the start of the event, approximately 10 certificates had already been awarded and new sales had been made!

This is truly an impressive outcome, but it’s not unique – that’s what’s so incredibly positive about the Independent Easter campaign – Colchester’s success is replicated in Oadby, Exeter, Midhurt and Letchworth, to name a few. Finger crossed that the independent retailers involved in all 56 towns UK-wide can report similar positive news!

This blog was provided by Amanda Ruiz who can be contacted on Tel: 07711 419595, email: or web:

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
This entry was posted in Independent Easter, Supporting Independent Retail. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Colchester #IndieRetail supported by “Promote Your Shop” for #IndieEaster campaign

  1. Pingback: Indie Easter | Support Independent Colchester

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