Press Release: @retailchampion @clarerayner calls on brands to throw their weight behind Independent Retailer Month #IndieMonth

With Independent Retailer Month running throughout July, the driving force behind the initiative is calling on brands to recognize the opportunities available to engage with a consumer base and support the campaign.

Retail Champion Clare Rayner, who launched Independent Retailer Month in 2011, said that while it was imperative that shoppers threw their support behind the drive to revive local village and town centres, there was enormous potential for brands to lead by example, while engaging with a national consumer-base.

Consumer brands have the marketing clout to really throw weight behind Independent Retailer Month

“Large brands understand the influence that a network of good, proactive independent retailers can have on customer perception of their brands, and they have the marketing clout to really throw their weight behind initiatives like Independent Retailer Month to help drive home to the consumer the unique, exclusive benefits that shopping locally can offer.

“The past two years have seen us get some real power-houses behind us, and we’re urging other brands to follow their lead and join the revolution, encouraging people to think twice about turning to out-of-town shopping centres, and to instead support their local independents.”

Painting a great example! Dulux brand owner, AzkoNobel, prove the power of brand marketing through Independent Retailers

A prime example of the heavyweight support Independent Retailer Month has attracted is leading paints and coatings specialists AzkoNobel, which introduced an incentive scheme for home-improvement enthusiasts around the iconic Dulux Dog.

Carly Knight, shopper marketing manager at AkzoNobel said: “The concept was simple but effective. We ran a promotion on our Dulux Painting Mixing products, which was exclusive to our independently-operated Dulux Colour and Advice stores.

“Available Friday to Sunday throughout July 2012, in order to help drive weekend footfall, the incentive mechanic meant that whenever a customer spent £30 on the paint-mixing service, they received a free, limited-edition, Dulux Dog cuddly toy.

“We supported the drive with Dulux Dog bunting and in-store posters, and heavily encouraged our customers to register on the website’s directory and to utilize the PDFs online to generate further awareness,” advised Knight.

Having experienced a demonstrable increase in paint-mixing sales during July, teamed with excellent customer feedback, AzkoNobel has committed to support Independent Retailer Month again this July, expanding the parameters of the incentive promotion.

“This year, we have significantly expanded the reach of the promotion. Not only are we offering the opportunity to more of our independent retailers but we have broadened the offering  to include all AkzoNobel products – Dulux, Polycell, Cuprinol and Hammerite – in order to really demonstrate our independent retailers product availability and choice,” added Knight.

The 2013 promotion will see a £5 voucher awarded for every £40 spent, and will be supported with a poster campaign.

The Frugi Tee-Party is another fantastic example of how brands can help support independent retailers

AzkoNobel’s lead has been followed this year by Frugi, an ethical and organic childrenswear brand, which is launching its Frugi Tee Party contest – a competition run through independent retailers stocking the brand to drive footfall.

Lucy Jewson, co-founder of Frugi, said: “Without independent retailers, our high streets would be far less interesting – it is these shops which make town centres individual and shopping experiences diverse. As part of Independent Retailer Month, we’ve launched a competition with the intention of boosting footfall into these stores. We’ve put up a really desirable family prize – a holiday in Cornwall worth more than £1,400 – to encourage more customers to visit Frugi retailers and enjoy some of the benefits that shopping with independents can offer. “

The competition, aimed at children up to the age of 10, encourages youngsters to design their own tee-shirt concept for Frugi. In addition to creating a final design from the winning entry and putting it into production, the winner and their family will enjoy a luxury holiday, including three nights at the Watergate Bay Hotel, lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, and a visit to the Eden Project.

“The Frugi Tee Party is all about stores engaging with customers and the local community in a fun way, so as an added incentive we are offering £200 towards local advertising for the store which submits the most entries.

“We recognise that independents form an important part of our business, as well as being crucial to the UK economy, and that the only way to keep our town centres and high streets vibrant and unique is for both shoppers and brands to support them.  We hope that with promotions like the Frugi Tee Party, our retailers can increase the number of people coming through their doors, and that these people will then continue to visit, with a long-term impact on our local high streets,” added Lucy.

Independent Retailers – Important to shoppers, communities and a key channel to market for 100s of consumer facing brands

Clare concluded: “The support this Independent Retail campaign, and Independent Retailer Month in particular, gets from big brands has a massive impact on the awareness surrounding it. While I have been urging consumers to make an effort to take 20 per cent of their shopping budget and support their local high street, there is far more reason for them to do so if they have added incentives like these to take advantage of.

“Only through continued support and awareness can the campaign continue to gather momentum and turn the perception of the British High Street around to make it great once more.”

For more information on Independent Retailer Month, including what retailers are doing to engage in their communities, visit http://www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/events

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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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