Planning ahead – Celebrating an Independent Christmas 2013 #IndieXmas

We have learned a great deal from both Indie Christmas 2012 and the Enjoy an Independent Easter campaign. We’re wrapping all these learnings into an evolved approach for the Indie Christmas 2013 activities and I’d like to share those with you now so you are aware of the plans and can plan ahead, involving the local council / town centre management or town team as well.

Focusing on engaging families within your local community

Our focus will be on families – the Easter activities, which got kids collecting stickers to complete a task in return for a small reward, really seems to have captured the imagination of customers in the 56 areas that took part. Therefore we want to turn the Christmas Shopping Crawl into a similar challenge…

We will produce artwork that requires participants to “decorate a tree” by collecting 10 colourful bauble stickers. Stickers will be available from the listed participating retailers.

When they have completed their tree (which they can keep) they can show it in any of the participating retailers for it to be “validated” (to confirm they have redeemed their prize) and will be rewarded with a certificate of completion and a treat – perhaps a candy cane, some chocolate money, a Christmas decoration, a small toy (think party bag items) – it really doesn’t matter!

Most of the excitement at Easter was about collecting the stickers and getting the certificate and a little chocolate egg… it’s the act of completing the task and being rewarded, not the reward itself, that matters.

An extra reason to shop indie for the adults…

To engage the adults they will also need to collect all 10 baubles (proving they visited at least 10 shops out of the listed participating retailers) BUT they need to produce receipts totalling a given amount, e.g. £50 (across all shops, or from just 1) to be entered into a prize draw.

  1. When they have visited the qualifying number of shops they need to fill in their details on an entry form which is countersigned by a participating retailer to validate they have completed the necessary criteria (which you can vary locally as you see fit) and that form is used to enter them into the local draw.
  2. The local draw ideally should be after Christmas to make sure you get the benefit of any last minute shoppers through the doors of the local independents…
  3. The prize can be whatever you see fit – it would appear that when towns have several prizes, not just one top prize, the take-up is increased. Prizes can be an array of things – donations from retailers and local businesses, cash, vouchers, leisure experiences – whatever you can muster.

Rewarding consumers for shopping with independent retailers

We hope to create a further opportunity for consumers nationally by inviting them to register online with us for a chance to win £1000 cash. All they need to do (and there is no qualifying criteria, but they will have to have seen our artwork to be able to do this) is enter their info via our website.

Obviously this gives us consumer data, by location, which we can also use to promote your future events to e.g. Easter activities, Indie Month etc.

It may seem a long way off, but you need to be planning ahead for Christmas 2013 NOW!

I hope you like where our plans are heading for the 2013 Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign – the idea is to make is as much fun as possible, to engage as many people as possible, and to encourage spending for the more valuable prizes. There will soon be a downloadable guide / info sheet about this so it will be something you can share with others. If you are keen to get your town involved with the Christmas fun please make sure you put the idea forward to the council etc. ASAP and so that it’s on their radar! You may be surprised by local councils may well have already started to plan their Christmas activities – so it’s not too early!

Here’s to a great event in 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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