Independent Retailer Month kicks off today. The campaign, which runs annually throughout July, highlights the role that smaller independent retailers play in the communities they serve and aims to remind consumers of the benefits of shopping local.
Organised by Clare Rayner, the four-week celebration encourages retailers to unite to create promotions, activities and events to capture the imagination of the local community, and remind people exactly what their local centres have to offer them.
Several towns across the country are participating by offering a variety of incentives to shoppers throughout July.
At Mansfield in Derbyshire, for example, shoppers that produce a copy of a receipt from two independents in Mansfield Town will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 worth of shopping vouchers for the town.
Salisbury in Devon is also joining the national campaign by running an Independents’ Week from July 2-8, with many businesses running special offers or gifts with purchase . Customers can also enter a competition to win a basket of vouchers.
Meanwhile, the Aldeburgh Business Association is Suffolk is hosting an event from July 4-6 ‘to show how everything you could possibly need is right on your doorstep’.
Shoppers will be able to enjoy special offers and discounts in its independent shops, choose from the Aldeburgh Independent’s Day menus in its restaurants and learn tricks of the trade from local businesses including a cookery masterclass, butchery skills and a coffee-making workshop.
A vintage shuttle bus will give shoppers free rides to the high street all day on Thursday July 4 and celebrations will continue on Friday and Saturday with businesses working together to raise money for local charities, as well as more masterclasses, discounts and events.
These include the ‘Eat The Street’Aldeburgh Independents’ Day Lunch with food supplied by local suppliers and Aldeburgh Cinema’s contribution of two free screenings of a classic comedy shown in old-school 35mm projection:’The Shop Around The Corner’starring Margaret Sullavan and Janes Stewart.
Clare Rayner said:”This campaign is now in its third year and it couldn’t be more important The key to both survival and success is to encourage local people to shop locally, relishing in the mix of both well-known high street names and independent, local businesses.
“Shoppers appreciate a unique offering. Each town needs to appreciate and support the independent retailers that make it a unique location. Independent businesses make a massive contribution to the local community and economy and should not be overlooked.”
It’s not too late to take part. Interested retailers have access to a range of free resources, including window posters and even thank you cards to show their gratitude to existing and new customers.
Stay up to date with all the activities by following @IndieRetailUKon Twitter, by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IndependentRetailerMonthUK or by subscribing to www.independentretailermonth.co.uk.