Independent retailers are being urged to celebrate their individuality by holding a range of events and activities throughout July, when the Independent Retailer Month campaign will run for its fourth consecutive year.

Independent Retailer Month aims to raise awareness of thousands of local businesses and increase footfall into town and village centres, helping retailers to stay open for business and to improve collaboration between retailers.

Purpose of Independent Retailer Month

IRM-July-text-2014-tagThe campaign aims to impact the independent retail sector with fun activities and events to connect consumers and communities with local businesses, helping to engage their interest in and understanding of the benefits of shopping with local independent brands.

Clare Rayner, the Retail Champion and founder of Independent Retailer Month, said: “As we enter our fourth consecutive year, we want consumers to understand the importance of their local businesses. Springboard Research for the British Retail Consortium found that high street footfall was down 26% from 2007–2013 during traditional hours, although notably revealed that there was growth in the evenings from 5.00pm to 8.00pm, and at the weekends. It’s really important that shoppers return to their local brands and see what small, independent businesses can offer.

“Independent Retailer Month is an unfunded campaign and we don’t want retailers to damage their margins with one-day discount events. Instead, we want a month-long celebration of our independent retailers to reconnect communities with their local businesses and help create a change in consumer behaviour that will last well beyond the end of July.”

Retailers can get involved easily – all resources are available free to download!

irm 2014 posterRetailers are still being urged to join the campaign and plan activities and events to increase the footfall in their area. All those taking part have access to a range of free, downloadable materials and resources, from window stickers to press kits, so that they can tell the local community how they will be celebrating their individuality this July. The tools can be accessed at www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/resources/.

Clare said, “There’s still time for independent retailers to get involved. Everything is on the Independent Retailer Month website to support participants and we’re welcoming free event listings for businesses to promote their plans. We love seeing the creative ways in which retailers are planning to entice new custom!”

One example of creative celebrations from Independent Retailer Month 2013 was Frugi Wholesale, which invited its stockists to hold a “Frugi Tee Party” during the campaign. The party included children’s colouring competitions, where the winner’s design was manufactured by the wholesaler on to tee-shirts for the stockists to later sell. You can see Clare’s video introduction of the Frugi Tee Party at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzfC4bUMfmQ

She said: “Frugi Wholesale’s event last year is a great example of what retailers should be doing to increase their footfall. We want Independent Retailer Month to be more about creating a fun experience for customers, showcasing unique products and great service. Consumers should have a fantastic experience exploring their local businesses rather than the same-old, same-old of wandering supermarket aisles, trawling shopping centres or zombie-like online shopping!”

Thousands of independent retailers across the UK are expected to participate in this year’s activities. Retailers interested in taking part can keep up with news and updates by following www.twitter.com/IndieRetailUK on Twitter, by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IndependentRetailerMonthUK or subscribing to www.independentretailermonth.co.uk.

Press contact: Caroline Cook at Wordsmith Copywriting: 01529 298729/07849 079063 or caroline.cook@wordsmithcopywriting.co.uk.

Notes for editors:


Since its UK launch in July 2011, Independent Retailer Month, which runs throughout July, has grown rapidly, engaging thousands of retailers and consumer-facing businesses UK-wide. It highlights the important role that smaller, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.

By encouraging independent retailers, groups of retailers, and even whole towns to create fun and engaging promotions, activities and events during the month of July, the campaign also tackles the very real issue of declining footfall in towns and village centres.

Independent Retailer Month UK is led by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, founder of the “Support for Independent Retail” campaign, which, alongside Independent Retailer Month, includes the “Enjoy an Independent Easter” and the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign events.

Clare is available to provide further content for print/online publication or to engage in broadcast interviews, either down the line or in the studio. All requests for media contributions should be addressed to Clare directly – by email to clare.rayner@retailchampion.co.uk or call office: + 44 (0) 1727 238890


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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