Press Release: Independents’ Day & Independent Retailer Month join forces to #IndieRetail UK-wide

Thursday 4th April is the launch of this year’s “Independents’ Day” campaign which kick-starts the 3rd annual Independent Retailer Month. 4th July, Independents’ day, has been declared a nationwide event for the general public to make a point of shopping with independent retailers and exploring the local shops that they may have otherwise overlooked in their busy day-to-day lives.

About Independents’ Day and Independent Retailer Month

Indie-month-logoIndependents’ day is organised by the National Skills Academy for Retail (formerly known as Skillsmart Retail) and is a national 1-day event that celebrates diversity on the high street, giving a voice to the UK’s independent retailers –

Independent Retailer Month is organised by the Support for Independent Retail campaign, founded by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, with the purpose of helping retailers and consumer facing businesses to get, and stay, open for business by re-connecting local people with local traders for the benefit of the whole community.

2 Campaigns to support Independent Retailers joining forces to celebrate Indie Retail throughout July

In 2013 the 2 campaigns have joined forces, so Independents’ day on 4th July will kick start Independent Retailer Month and a whole month of celebration of Independent Retail throughout July. 

indie month poster 2013 imageBoth campaigns are offering a range of free, downloadable materials and resources. These are made available to all those involved. Retailers are encouraged to download the campaign posters and other supporting materials for Independents’ day from and for Independent Retailer Month from

In addition, retailers, groups of retailers, and even whole towns, are urged to create celebratory events on 4th July, and regularly throughout the month, to engage consumers and to keep them coming back, helping them rebuild the habit of shopping with the independent businesses where they work, live and visit.

Both campaigns have the support of a wide variety of trade associations including bira (British Independent Retailers Association) and Action for Market Towns to name a few. See for full details.

Independents’ Day is funded

What did the Independents’ Day team have to say?

???????Jane Rexworthy, Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail who run the Independents’ day event said: “Independent retailers make up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK and their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivalled. We recognise how important they are to local economies and to create a healthier high street, and we are delighted to give independent retailers a voice to reach out the public. Throughout the campaign we aim to raise importance of independent retailers with consumers, encouraging people to shop locally, throughout the year, and particularly on Thursday 4th July. We also want to raise awareness amongst the independent retailers of the vast amount of support and training that is now available at a substantially reduced price, to assist them in acquiring and improving essential skills which can really make a difference to their bottom line.”

What did Clare Rayner, Founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign and UK lead for Independent Retailer Month say?

WVP_1690-2Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign, for which Independent Retailer Month is one of the key annual events, said: “2013 is the third year for Independent Retailer Month and we intend it to be the best yet. I’m delighted to work alongside the NSA for Retail, and it’s great to have this national, consumer-facing event as a kick start to this year’s Independent Retailer Month.

“Whilst we’re focusing on celebrating our smaller retailers and consumer facing businesses it is important to remind ourselves that many smaller businesses are still in a precarious position. LDC (local data company) found that in the second half of 2012, and for the first time in over two years, more independent shops closed than opened. Research produced from bira showed that some 16% of all independent retailers fear they will not survive 2013 if things don’t improve. The loss of more shops from our high streets and villages is a very real risk. If something isn’t done to help re-connect local consumers with local businesses, it is forecast that the UK high street vacancy rate could climb from c. 14% to an alarmingly high 17%.

I-heart-indie-shops“It’s simple, effective activities, such as these campaign events, that can really help to start the process of changing consumer habits, reminding people that they stand to lose all the fantastic shops in their area if they never visit them and never spend with them. It’s imperative that our independent retailers get the support of their local community to survive in challenging trading conditions. This year I am encouraging people to make concerted effort to make an “Indie Retail Pledge”, to divert up to 20% of what they currently spend out of town, in chains, or with online giants, to their local, independent retailers. If people really do care about having thriving local businesses then they need to ensure that they keep the pledge, put their money where their mouth is, and actually spend with them! If not they will only have themselves to blame if their communities revert to clone towns, or worse, ghost towns…”

Get Involved and Celebrate Independent Retail throughout July!

Indie-month-word-tag1000s of Independent retailers across the UK are expected to participate in this year’s activities.

Retailers interested in taking part can stay up to date with all the activities by following @IndieRetailUK on Twitter, by visiting the facebook page at or by subscribing to the regular news and updates from the campaign via



Since its UK Launch in July 2011, Independent Retailer Month, which runs throughout July, has grown rapidly, engaging 1000s of retailers and consumer-facing businesses UK-wide. It highlights the important role that smaller, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.

By encouraging independent retailers, groups of retailers, and even whole towns to create fun and engaging promotions, activities and events during the month of July, the campaign also tackles the very real issue of declining footfall in towns and village centres.

Independent Retailer Month UK is led by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, who is founder of the “Support for Independent Retail” campaign which, alongside Independent Retailer Month, includes the “Enjoy an Independent Easter” and the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign events.

Clare is available to provide further content for print / online publication or to engage in broadcast interviews, either down the line or in the studio. All requests for media contributions should be addressed to Clare directly – by email to or call office: + 44 (0) 1727 238890 or mobile: +44 (0) 7734 411590.


The Support for Independent Retail campaign is a year-round source of support, advice, ideas and inspiration founded by retail expert, Clare Rayner. Its aim is to help independent retailers and those who serve consumers to get, and stay, open for business! The campaign receives no government funding and is reliant on sponsorship and goodwill.

In 2013 the campaign is urging people to pledge to support independent retailers by diverting just 20% of what they spend elsewhere to their local, independent retailers – see Article: Pledge your support for Independent Retail

The campaign includes 3 annual events which include “Enjoy an Independent Easter” –, “Independent Retailer Month” – and “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” –

To contact the campaign team, email or call on 01727 238890.

The National Skills Academy for Retail

The National Skills Academy for Retail, which organises Independents’ day, is a wholly owned subsidiary of People 1st, delivers skills solutions for retailers across the UK through a network of retail skills shops.

These retail skills shops:

  • Provide access to world-class skills and business support for retailers whatever their size, wherever they are located
  • Lead the drive for professional, rewarding careers and skills development for everyone who works in retail
  • Create a consistent national approach for training and skills in the UK’s largest private sector employer
  • Attract talented people into the sector



Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK, championing for the success and sustainability of smaller, independent retailers and suppliers to retail. A child born into a family of retailers and entrepreneurs, she is passionate about retail and business: it is in her blood.

Clare started out as a fast-track graduate store management trainee for McDonalds and 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.

Since 2006 Clare has been engaged by clients as a retail consultant, professional speaker and business mentor. In 2011 she was invited to launch Independent Retailer Month in the UK, a global ‘Shop Local’ campaign which runs throughout July that has gained incredible momentum and reach under her leadership. Following the success of this campaign she created “Celebrate an Independent Christmas”, launched in 2012, featuring nationwide “Christmas Shopping Crawls” in high streets and retail communities UK wide. In 2013, following the continued success of the Independent Retail campaigns, Clare launched the “Enjoy an Independent Easter” campaign.

Clare is also founder and host of ‘The Retail Conference’, a well-established and highly respected annual retail industry event.

Clare is a frequent media contributor, regularly featured on BBC, Channel 5, ITN and Sky TV News, various radio broadcasts, within trade press and digital media, commenting on a wide range of retail and consumer topics. As one of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) “Real Life Entrepreneur Champions”, Clare has been recognised by the UK’s leading small business community as an inspirational role model for any start-up or small businesses.

Her first book, entitled ‘The Retail Champion: 10-steps to Retail Success‘, was published by Kogan Page in July 2012. Her second book, entitled “How to sell to retailers: The secrets of getting your products to market”, was also published by Kogan Page on 3rd February 2013.

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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4 Responses to Press Release: Independents’ Day & Independent Retailer Month join forces to #IndieRetail UK-wide

  1. Retail Jobs says:

    This a great initiative. Sadly, I had no idea about it

  2. Deborah says:

    I fear that I’m in such a small village (although it’s a world heritage site!) that we are sadly a forgotten area of Telford! Ironbridge is the essential reason Telford has been built about 50 years ago! SOS Thanks Clare … ?
    Deborah from

    • Clare Rayner says:

      You’d be surprised – lots of very small and rural areas got behind the indie Easter activities – it only takes 1 retailer to begin to get the momentum going… try chatting with a few of the other local traders and see if you can get a core group together to do something that will help to bring customers back to celebrate the lovely independent retailers in their area throughout July!

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