#IndieMonth 2013 – A resounding success – but we must build on the momentum #IndieRetail


As Independent Retailer Month came to an end on 31st July, Clare Rayner, the driving force behind the initiative, reflects on a successful campaign that has not only delivered exceptional results for those participating but which has firmly established the month-long campaign as a not-to-be-missed annual event for Independent Retail.

“Exceptional Support, UK-wide,  for Independent Retailer Month 2013”

Indie-month-logoRetail Champion Clare Rayner, who launched Independent Retailer Month in 2011, said that there had been exceptional support UK wide for the initiative in 2013, with take-up from not only retailers but also across whole towns.

“So many retailers and whole towns took advantage of the opportunity that independent retailer month presents to create promotions, activities and events that really attract and engage local consumers. The feedback has been unanimously positive and one of the case studies demonstrates the real commercial benefit of the campaign.

To build on the momentum the focus now turns to “Celebrate an Independent Christmas”

indie-christmas-logo“However, we can’t rest on our laurels – it’s critical to immediately build on this momentum, which is why we’re turning our attention to the next campaign event – the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” activities.

“Only through a regular and sustained focus on creating fun and engaging events, which give consumers a reason to keep coming back to their high streets and local stores, will we be able to create a long-term, step-change in consumer behaviour.”

Recognition for the retailers who helped to deliver a successful 2013 Independent Retailer Month

However, retailers can pat themselves on their backs as the success stories coming out of the month are plentiful!

One of these success stories comes from Akzo Nobel (the brand owners of Dulux) who supported Independent Retailer Month in both 2012 and 2013 by providing promotional support for their network of independent distributors. Jason Hopkins, UK Distributors Business Director said “2012 was the first year that Akzo Nobel was involved in Independent Retailer Month. This year we up-weighted our promotional campaign to support Independent Retailer Month and early indications show that this has worked well with strong growth on our 2012 performance and very positive feedback from our sales teams.”

Campaign Supporters also acknowledged the success of the 2013 activities

Campaign supporters, such as Action for Market Towns, British Independent Retailers Association and Enterprise Rockers, also acknowledged the success of the 2013 activities.

AMT logoChris Wade, Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns commented, “Independent retailers, offering variety and a quality service, are a big part of what makes our town centres special. It’s great that Independent Retailer Month 2013 has once again helped raise the profile of independent retailers across the country and it is well and truly established in the annual calendar.”

enterprise-rockers-logoTina Boden, co-founder of Enterprise Rockers added “Enterprise Rockers are proud supporters of Independent Retailer Month. In May I came up with an idea to help promote the importance of independent retail and independent business in local communities and set about planning the Local Indie Explorer Challenge to take place on 9th and 10th July. My aim was to support and promote Independent Retailer Month, and Kath Turner, Chair of the East Coast Branch of Federation of Small Business North Yorkshire, aimed to promote the FSB Keep Trade Local campaign. We each spent 33 hours visiting different parts of Yorkshire and Humber and meeting as many independent businesses as we could.

This was an ideal opportunity for independent retailers to get in involved, and many did, in over 24 different locations across the Yorkshire and Humber region. At a time when bricks and mortar retailers are battling against doom and gloom media stories, campaigns like Independent Retailer Month bring an opportunity to promote the positive impact collaboration between independent retailers and other independent businesses can bring to local communities. Highlighting the independent retailers and the service they bring in July opens doors for them to raise their profile across the rest of the year.”

bira-logoMichael Weedon, Deputy CEO of British Independent Retailers Association said “Conventional wisdom says you need several years, loads of hard work and tons of money to build a brand and a campaign like Independent Retailer Month. Conventional wisdom is right about the first two but wrong about the third: activism, engagement and inventiveness now do what cash once did and together they have created a great event, brand and movement.”

Time to focus on planning for the Christmas festivities!

christmas-shopping-posterClare concluded: “Independent Retailer Month gets amazing support from our supporting partners, from brands, from town centres and from the retailers themselves. Whilst this unfunded campaign has managed to achieve fantastic support and recognition we have still a long way to go! There are still 1000s of independent retailers that we have not yet reached. It is our aim now to leverage the momentum from Independent Retailer Month and to focus on the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” activities, which in 2012 saw over 50 town centres, representing over 1000 retailers, running fun “Christmas Shopping Crawls”.

“This year I’d like to see that number exceed 100 towns and over 2000 retailers.

“Only through ongoing support and awareness building 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 the support for independent retail campaign, including details of each of the 3 annual campaign events, see www.independentretail.co.uk. You can follow the campaign on twitter via @IndieRetailUK and on facebook via www.facebook.com/IndependentRetail

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.
This entry was posted in Independent Christmas, Independent Retailer Month, Supporting Independent Retail. Bookmark the permalink.

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