Count down to Independent Retailer Month: In 2-months the National campaign to increase trade with Independent Retailers begins!

In just 2 months independent retailers and whole towns UK-wide will be kick-starting a month-long celebration of Independent retail. The aim is to raise awareness for 1000s of fantastic local businesses, to increase footfall to our town and village centres, and to boost sales. Retailers, groups of retailers, and whole towns, are urged to create promotions, activities and events that capture the imagination of the local community, getting people to think about shopping local, not just for one-day but throughout July and all year round! By sustaining a variety of activities for a whole month the campaign will begin to change the habits and mind-sets of consumers. If they spend a month enjoying regular visits to their local, independent retailers, by the end of July they won’t want to stop…

FREE resources to promote independent retail throughout July

All those taking part have access to a range of free, downloadable materials and resources including window posters, window stickers, thank-you cards (to give to customers), and a guide to give them ideas and inspiration for their activities. These can all be found via www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/resources/. In addition, all those wishing to take part can have their events listed and promoted by the campaign team via www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/events

A fun campaign, but with a very serious aim to reconnect consumers with their local, independent businesses.

Indie-month-logoIndependent 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.

2013 is the third year for Independent Retailer Month and we intend it to be the best yet. 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 by bira (British Independent Retailers Association) 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%.

Make the pledge and support your local, independent retail businesses

I-heart-indie-shopsIt’s simple, effective activities, such as the 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 with Independent Retailer Month in 2013

1000s 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 www.facebook.com/IndependentRetailerMonthUK or by subscribing to the regular news and updates from the campaign via www.independentretailermonth.co.uk

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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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2 Responses to Count down to Independent Retailer Month: In 2-months the National campaign to increase trade with Independent Retailers begins!

  1. I wish I had some independents to shop with in my local town, those that are there (in an indoor market) are of incredibly poor quality. We did have a pop up shop recently though for a week and it contained stunning products from really quality independents (it was a collection of shops in one space).

    This I would love to see more of this, and I see this sort of pop up shop growing in popularity of recent years – namely because not many of us can afford to commit to the risk of high cost high street rent agreements, and so tend to trade online instead.

    • Clare Rayner says:

      Hi Amanda
      Sadly I do have to agree with much of what you say, many areas have declined in both number of traders and quality over recent years. I absolutely agree a pop-up market / shop showcasing local talent, can really help boost an area and can help to give those businesses a boost into permanent premises.
      Hopefully more areas will see the benefit in “sharing a shop” and more landlords will be welcoming to the idea of licenced use of space, like in the serviced office industry, to enable more, smaller businesses to trade. Large shop units are too much of a cost for smaller retailer, and many units are simply too big. Sharing is a brilliant way to overcome that and it also provides so many other benefits to those within the shop.
      Thanks for giving your comment to the blog!
      Clare

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