With just 1 week to go until the start of Independent Retailer Month 2013, Retail Champion Clare Rayner is calling on the Great British public to support unique, local retailers this July as businesses celebrate the impact they have on the high street.
July marks the UK’s third Independent Retailer Month, aiming to raise awareness of thousands of local businesses and increase footfall into town and village centres, and helping retailers to stay open and improve their network of fellow traders.
Retailers, groups of retailers, and whole towns working together to remind people exactly what local traders have to offer!
The month-long celebration calls upon retailers to unite and create promotions, activities and events to capture the imagination of the local community, and remind people exactly what their local centres have to offer them.
Clare Rayner, who founded the Support for Independent Retail campaign in 2011, is calling on shoppers to take 20 per cent of their monthly budget and spend it with local retailers rather than in chains out-of-town centres or online.
Re-engaging consumers is one way to address the UK’s declining high streets
“This campaign is now in its third year and it couldn’t be more important. Only last month it was revealed that the number of empty shops across the UK has hit an all-time high according to the British Retail Consortium*, and the only way to try and stem further closures is for retailers to be proactive and not only remind local customers to the fact that they’re here, but to give them more reasons to visit,” said Clare.
“The key to both survival and success is to encourage local people to shop locally, relishing in the mix of both well-known high street names and independent, local businesses. Shoppers appreciate a unique offering. Each town needs to appreciate and support the independent retailers that make it a unique location.
Independent Businesses make a massive contribution to the local community, economy and should not be overlooked!
“There are some 192,000 independent businesses in the UK, and almost 250,000 shops are occupied by them – the more of them who take part in Independent Retailer Month to celebrate their input and impact into the retail environment, the stronger they will become,” she added.
All retailers taking part in Independent Retailer Month have access to a range of free resources, including jaunty window posters to help them get noticed and even thank you cards to show their gratitude to existing and new customers.
The campaign team is also aiming to share every independent retailer month event at www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/events, giving savvy shoppers the low-down on what they can look forward to in their town or village.
When times are tough, bringing communities together and boosting morale can have a positive impact on business’ survival
Clare added: “Anything that boosts positivity and increases camaraderie within a community of traders is enough to keep them going. Some of the ideas that retailers have come up with this year are brilliant – everything from live music in-house to exclusive discounts during July.
“This year I am urging shoppers to divert up to 20% of what they currently spend out of town, in chains, or with online giants, to their local, independent retailers; be it the local delicatessen, the bakery or grocer, or a boutique, sweet shop or hardware store. Residents are the first to complain about empty shops in their local centre, so if they really do care about having thriving local businesses then they need to ensure that they put their money where their mouth is, and actually spend with them!”
Get involved or find out more about Independent Retailer Month activities near you
Thousands of Independent retailers across the UK are expected to participate in this year’s activities – shoppers can find out more via www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/events and can elect to “shop local” by seeking independent retailers in their area via www.independentshops.co.uk.
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 www.independentretailermonth.co.uk
For press who would like to speak to Clare Rayner about Independent Retailer Month, please contact her directly via http://www.retailchampion.co.uk/media-commentator/