The British Independent Retailers Association has confirmed its support of the international campaign to encourage consumers to shop at their local independent shops throughout this July.
Independent Retailer Month is a global “shop-local” initiative designed to highlight the important role smaller independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole. Originally set up in the USA, the campaign is led in the UK by retail champion Clare Rayner.
BIRA says that by getting involved with Independent Retailer Month, its members will have access to resources to help them work together with other local businesses to focus on shopping habits and keep more consumer spend in their communities.
Said the association’s deputy CEO Michael Weedon: “The challenges to town centre retailing are many and pressing. While concentrating on the hard and very real disadvantages that independents face, such as parking, rates and planning, we know that helping shoppers recognise the enduring virtues of independents, which make up two in every three shops nationally, will bring them back to our towns – the original shopping centres.”
Weedon will be a panellist at the IRM launch conference on Sunday July 1 at Cranmore Park, Solihull. He will be accompanied by other IRM supporters in a debate about what is being done to protect the future of the UK’s independent retailer community.
Clare Rayner said she was delighted to welcome BIRA as an official supporting partner of IRM 2012. “By engaging with BIRA members we can spread the word on the street to the businesses at the core of our campaign, reaching over 7,000 independent and family-owned retailers across the UK,” she said.
BIRA is also a founding supporter of the National Independents’ Day campaign organised by Skillsmart Retail, which is taking place in parallel with IRM on July 4.