#IndieEaster Egg Hunt in Hampstead – Guest post by @JessicaLCriqui

This guest blog was originally a “letter to the Editor  of the Ham & High”, but I liked it so much I asked Jessica if I could share it here…
I would like to thank each and every child and their parent(s) who participated in the Easter Egg Hunt which spanned the period 21 March – 10 April.  It was a fun occasion with the 3 foot high Hampstead Egg provided by Hampstead School of Art and made and painted by local artist Sarah John.  There was also a serious side – namely, to increase footfall on the high street to the benefit of Hampstead’s small and independent traders and to remind residents and visitors of the interesting and accessible shops we have in Hampstead.  The hunt and the Hampstead Egg galvanised action to address this issue.

Dedicated website for the “Hampstead Shops Campaign”

The hunt’s dedicated website, www.hampsteadshopscampaign.co.uk contains a page of “Hampstead Angels” – those who helped to make the hunt possible with their help, including the Heath and Hampstead Society – who were all fantastic in their support, both financial and otherwise.   To this list must be added all the traders who made the occasion so special.  To all of these people I say thank you too.

Increased footfall & sales – mission accomplished!

The Hunt was a great success, being the first which spanned such a period.  Many traders have reported an increase in footfall to their shops.  Most visitors asked for the Easter egg stickers in order to ensure they could claim their chocolate lollipops.  Others browsed and bought products from the traders.  Overall, traders saw new faces visiting their shops, with some making purchases, with some visitors commenting that they did not know that the shop existed.

Up to 200 visitors to independent shops in Hampstead thanks to the Egg hunt!

On Flask Walk where the Hampstead egg was situated, one trader saw 200 visitors searching for the stickers and others 60/70.  In Heath Street, one trader saw 60 visitors.  Other traders had less visitors but the enthusiasm of the traders and the community was heartening in these straightened times.  As Darius Endrius of Le Petit Nicola put it, there was a “sparkle in the eye” of customers and an excitement which was a positive experience.

“A ray of sunshine in the national crisis facing our high street”

This event was a small ray of sunshine in the national crisis facing our high street as consumers continue to take their purchasing power to the internet and out of town shopping centres.  There is much in Hampstead which needs to be tackled so that families, residents and visitors are reminded that shopping in Hampstead is a fun and fulfilling opportunity.

Help support Hampstead Shops Campaign…

The Hampstead Shops Campaign is trying to tackle these very difficult issues.  To help raise funds to help with its fight, the 3 foot Hampstead Egg will be auctioned on or around 4 May and funds raised will be split between the Hampstead School of Art and the Hampstead Shops Campaign.  If you are interested, please keep an eye on the website www.hampsteadshopscampaign.co.uk for further information on the auction and do register your details on the site (if I do not have them already) if you would like to be kept up to date with developments on the shops front.

Yours sincerely,
Jessica Learmond-Criqui

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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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