PRESS RELEASE: 1 Week to go until Independent Retailer Month 2013: Shoppers urged to support local traders #IndieMonth

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!

Indie-month-word-tagThe 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.

indie month poster 2013 imageAll 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/

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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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