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.

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How to Increase your Footfall by @specialistmags for #IndieRetail

Guest blog by Barry Allaway, Magazine lover and Managing Director of WWMD.

A secret to increased retail footfall… If you could create anything for your retail outlet, what would it be? I wouldn’t be surprised if increased footfall made it to your shortlist. After all, if you can convince more people to enter your shop, you’ll benefit through increased sales and profits. But how can you tempt more customers into your store, without spending a lot of cash?

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.@Shop4Pop! Online POP design & print for #IndieRetail & small business advertising

North East Point of Sale specialist, Simpson Group, has ventured into web-to-print, aiming their shop4pop.com website at smaller UK retailers who will benefit from professionally designed and printed POP on a budget.

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Top tips for some cracking Point of Sale this Easter! by @UKPOSGroup for #IndieRetail

This is a guest blog by Debra Jamieson, Sales and Marketing Director, UK POS

Annual seasonal point of sale (POS) campaigns are bread and butter for high street giants whose marketing and visual merchandising efforts will often be planned months in advance. For the independent retailer however, who will often adopt multiple roles – marketing manager, shop assistant, visual merchandiser, buyer – POS can sometimes fall to the bottom of the list as retailers look to juggle several areas of the business.

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Calling for an independent retail revolution #indieretail by @AnnectoUK

January has brought some bad news for the big boys of the retail world… Retail giants including Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer reported a fall in sales over the crucial Christmas trading period – news that should encourage independent small businesses across the UK to up the ante and focus harder on how they can win over the consumer.

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Digital High Street Skills Project to be Launched at National Space Centre

Three… Two… One…

Digital High Street Skills Project to be “Launched” at National Space Centre, “rocketing” independent retailers into the brave new world of mobile-digital commerce!!! Continue reading

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14 Reasons Magazines Will Help your Specialist #IndieRetail Outlet Thrive by @specialistmags

I’m curious… What’s your favourite magazine?

I ask, because during February, our annual “We Love Magazines” campaign kicks off. It’s when we ask readers to create a quick video and share what’s special about their favourite read.

Now if you don’t stock magazines in your store, I think you’ll be surprised at the amount of love and affection customers have for their magazine of choice.

And as an independent retailer, that’s seriously good news for you. You see, it’s this love that helps to explains why stocking magazines is a decision that will make your till ring a little more often this year.

So keep reading and you’ll discover the 14 reasons why magazines will help your retail business thrive

1.  An irresistible impulse buy

Did you know that 85% of adults regularly buy magazines? That’s the majority of your customers. A key reason for this trend is because magazines provide inexpensive entertainment (or an easy way to indulge in a hobby or interest). And because “staying in is the new going out”, magazines offer a risk-free treat to enjoy at home or on the go.

2.  Increase basket spend

Would you be surprised to know that magazines can increase your average basket spend by up to 25%? That’s because when customers are in your store choosing a magazine, it’s likely they’ll pop a few more items into their basket.

3. Increase footfall

Not only are magazines, impulse buys; they’re fantastic destination products too. If customers like to pick and choose from a range of titles, they’ll pop into your shop on a regular basis with the specific intention of buying the latest edition. And as you know, more customers entering your shop, means more sales.

4. Enrich customers’ experience

As a specialist retailer, customers will visit your store with a particular objective in mind. By stocking specialist magazines, you can provide customers with yet another product to choose from that’s tied to their interests (and the reason they visit you in the first place).

5. Lucrative cross-selling opportunities

Did you know that customer buying choices are influenced by the features and products that are written about and advertised in magazines? In turn, if these are products that you stock, you could see your sales of these items increase too.

6.  No risk products

Specialist magazines offer an easy, risk-free way to introduce a new lucrative product stream to your specialist store. That’s because magazines, with the support of the publishers, are supplied on a Sale or Return basis. So don’t worry about any unsold stock, instead return it to your supplier for a full credit. You can’t lose.

7.  Easy to display

Magazines are eye-catching and pack a powerful visual punch. In addition, with the variety of display racks now available, it’s super simple to make the most of your valuable retail space AND make it easy for customers to buy.

8. Massive choice

Did you know there are over 3,000 magazines for sale in the UK? What’s more, the range of subjects covered is huge, including everything from hair to holidays, craft to cars and fashion to food. As a result, I’d be shocked if there wasn’t at least one title you could stock in your store!

9. Magazines are well loved

Whether it’s for entertainment, information, and inspiration, or just to keep up with the latest on a favourite hobby or interest, magazines are well loved by customers. This means by stocking a relevant range in your shop, you can instantly provide your customers with a product they’re happy to spend their money on.

10.  Magazines are NOT a dying trade

Are you one of the many retailers who wrongly believe magazines are being ditched in favour of online information? That’s simply not the case. In fact, despite the Internet, magazines sales are higher now than they were ten years ago. It seems people still enjoy physically holding and flicking through their favourite title.

11. Magazines sell themselves

Magazines publishers go to great lengths to persuade customers to become regular readers. From TV adverts to teaser headlines, free gifts and what’s coming next time, you’ll find most of the hard selling work has been done for you. In fact, you could discover customers start to ASK YOU where they can find the latest edition of their favourite read!

12. Magazines are a perfect product for specialist retailers like you

Some specialist retailers think that magazines are the reserve of the big retailers and supermarkets. But that’s just wrong. In fact, as a specialist retailer, relevant titles are even more perfectly positioned for you to sell, because it’s your area of specialism. Don’t allow the bigger stores to grab all the profits from magazine sales. Instead, stock them in your store and take your cut of the £1.6 billion worth of magazine sales that will take place in the UK this year.

13. Magazines are affordable

Whilst the “credit crunch” has made consumers more wary of what they spend, magazine sales don’t appear to have been affected by this. In fact, in many ways, magazines sales have benefited by the change in consumer spending. And the reason is because magazines are so affordable. People want to treat themselves, and magazines provide a guilt-free way of doing that. In fact, on average, 41.9% of all shoppers pick up their favourite title rather than a chocolate bar or a hardback fiction.

14. It’s really easy to get started

Finally, it’s a lot easier to profit from magazines than you might think. That’s because the team at WWMD can advise you on what magazines to stock and ensure you’ve got a steady stream of relevant magazines to boost your sales. Plus, you could even qualify for FREE racking, making it quick and easy for you to create an eye-catching display that customers will love to choose from.

Want to profit from selling magazines?

If you’d like to introduce a new lucrative profit stream to your independent retail store, contact WWMD today. We’re the UK’s leading supplier of magazines into niche and specialist stores, and our team of customer service professionals are on hand to provide you with expert, bespoke advice about what magazines would work for you.

For more information, visit www.wwmd.co.uk – it’s the place to sign up and download our FREE report – 7 Biggest Mistakes Retailers Make By NOT Stocking Magazines.

Alternatively, call the customer service advisors on 0121 788 3112 and have a one-to-one chat about what magazines can do for you. There’s no obligation, just lots of useful advice that will help you make an informed decision about what’s right for your retail outlet.

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Celebrating an #IndieXmas @bodandted

This guest blog was written by the team from bod & ted. bod & ted is a family owned and run business with boutiques in Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. They specialise in providing a personal shopping experience and mixing well-established brands with up-and-coming designers. bod and ted was established in September 2008 by mother & daughter team Yvonne and Sophie Brown. In this blog they talk a little about their plans to make Christmas special for their local shoppers.

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Is there hope for the small independent retailer? #indieretail

At a time when consumers are increasingly picky about where they shop, when online competition is fierce and the market is awash with low-cost providers, independent retailers could be forgiven for thinking their days are numbered. However I’d suggest they are wrong… Consumers have cash to spend but don’t want to waste it. They want to know that when they spend that they have spent wisely. 

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Tips for independent furniture retailers for 2014 by @FreedomSofas #IndieRetail

Having run a high street furniture retail store in the past, and now launching the UK’s first sofa manufacturer dedicated to independent retailers, I am often asked for my thoughts on the future of the high street.  I feel that independent retailers have the potential to offer customers so many benefits over and above multiples.  So, using my 25 years of experience in the sector, I have put together my top pieces of advice to help high street furniture retailers to thrive during 2014.

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