It’s three months until Christmas and here at the Support for Independent Retail campaign, we’re getting excited! It’s time to start thinking about how to get those Christmas shoppers into your store, so join our Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign and take part in the Christmas Shopping Challenge in your local area.
What is a Christmas Shopping Challenge?
Christmas Shopping Challenges are created by groups of retailers (or even whole towns!) to encourage families to explore their local high streets for their Christmas purchases, instead of buying from out-of-town and larger retailers.
The challenge is simple enough: consumers get a map of participating retailers, visit those shops to get a bauble sticker and then decorate their Christmas tree. Once they’ve completed their tree, they get a certificate of completion and a special Christmas treat!
It’s great fun for all the family and a wonderful way for retailers to share the local festive spirit!
How will this help my business at Christmas?
In the past, November and December trading has been worth between 30% and 60% of annual profits for high street businesses. But this has changed – footfall data now indicates that the high street is suffering greater decline in visitors than the rest of the year, an average 26% down since 2009.
Worse still, with most footfall occurring outside of normal opening hours, and with most shops reluctant to open as late as shopping centres, it’s not surprising that retail parks, online and, of course, shopping centres are stealing high street sales during peak season trading.
Although 90% of sales are still made in-store, the Internet has some influence in the purchasing process – for example, pre-purchase research or click-and-collect.
So what can Celebrate an Independent Christmas do in the light of these dwindling figures?
The campaign is all about getting local consumers back on to their high streets and reminding them of all the lovely, unique shops they have right on their doorsteps. It is also about educating those people about the value of their purchases to their local economy. Did you know that a £1.00 spent locally is worth at least 10 times more to the local economy than if it was spent elsewhere?
Meeting local people, letting them know you exist, is the first step to securing new customers and new sales!
Okay, so the Christmas Shopping Challenge doesn’t require consumers to actually buy something from each retailer…but if they visit your shop and see not only your great products, but your fantastic service with a smile, they’re far more likely to reconsider where to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones. And what’s to stop them (and those loved ones!) shopping with you in the future once the festive season is over?
Celebrate an Independent Christmas is just one of three events run by the Support for Independent Retail campaign – if you get involved with all three, there’s every chance that your local customers will remember your shop all year round. So why not start with an Independent Christmas?
Sounds great! Where do I sign up?
It’s really easy to sign your business up to take part in a Christmas Shopping Challenge, but first we need some volunteers to be local activation partners!
Your town needs you! Calling on willing volunteers to become your area’s local activation partner!
Local activation partners (LAPs) lead their local area’s shopping challenges and help to encourage retailers to take part, as well as handling the resources to make the campaign work. There’s a bit of leg-work to be done but it’s all worth it to see your local independent retailers thrive over the Christmas period.
Check out our guide on How to Create a Christmas Shopping Challenge for LAPs and if you think you’re the right person for the role in your local area, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you to get started!
Confirmed LAPs are being added to the list on the Celebrate an Independent Christmas website so that retailers who want to take part can easily contact them.
Come and Celebrate an Independent Christmas with the Support for Independent Retail campaign – we can’t wait!