Today is the beginning of the six-week countdown to Independent Retailer Month.
This global ‘Shop Local’ campaign runs annually throughout July to highlight the important role that smaller, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.
Co-founded in USA by Kerry Bannigan, CEO of Nolcha, and Tom Shay, principal of Profits Plus, Independent Retailer Month in the UK is led by Clare Rayner.
Since its launch in July 2011, Independent Retailer Month UK has grown rapidly, engaging thousands of retailers and consumer-facing businesses UK-wide.
The aim is to encourage individual independent retailers, small groups or even whole towns to create fun and engaging promotions, activities and events during July that will attract new and existing customers into the store, and the area.
Clare Rayner said: “Our message to consumers is that independent retailers are important. They are the lifeblood of our local retail centres: towns, high streets, villages.
“By buying from local independent shops we each are doing ‘our bit’ to keep our high street, town or village centre ‘open for business’. Sadly at present it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.
“But our campaign isn’t about a ‘bleeding heart’ story. We really want consumers to realise that doing a proportion of their shopping with indies means they get more unique products, better service and an all-round more positive experience.
“The campaign encourages retailers and groups of retailers to create promotions, activities and events that will really engage and excite their local consumers, reminding them of the hidden gems that are right on their doorsteps and making steps to secure their longer-term loyalty.”