The organisers of Independent Retailer Month, the global ‘Shop Local’ campaign which ran throughout July, have launched a UK spin-off event calling for independent retailers to ‘Celebrate an Independent Christmas’.
The seasonal campaign will run for the six weeks prior to December 25, from November 12. Consumers will be encouraged to spend a proportion of their Christmas budgets – be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering – with local, independent businesses. The campaign will include all those who serve consumers, from bars, restaurants and salons to traditional shops.
The UK lead for Independent Retailer Month Clare Rayner said: “To keep the ‘shop indie’ message going we’re launching the ‘Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign’. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to give independent businesses a real boost in sales; already many achieve over 30% of their annual sales in the six weeks before Christmas.
“The message will be that buying from an independent typically guarantees a more unique, personal experience. It will highlight that if consumers are looking for a bit of indulgence at this celebratory time of year, if they are seeking more unusual gifts, unique outfits, delicious treats or special social occasions, they should explore their local independents.”
Two ‘activation’ events are planned to give retailers the tools and techniques to make the most of an Indie Xmas. Indie Xmas London will be held on Sunday, October 7 at Cavendish Conference Centre and Indie Xmas Manchester will follow one week later, on Sunday October 14 at Manchester Conference Centre. Each will feature keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, special offers and free gifts from event sponsors.
There are also plans to get retailers and business organisations to work together to create fun ‘Christmas Shopping Crawls’, to encourage consumers to seek out their local independents, with the opportunity for shoppers to win a prize for completing a crawl.