Holidays are coming! Get involved and Celebrate an Independent Christmas #indieretail #indiexmas

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?

Indie Christmas Poster A3Celebrate an Independent Christmas is all about sharing the brilliance of independent retail with local consumers looking to spend their Christmas budget.

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?

Thank you for shopping Indie cards_Page_1In 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?

Thank you for shopping Indie cards_Page_2The 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 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!


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
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