Independents’ Day, the campaign that promotes and celebrates independent retailers around the UK, is being re-launched for 2018.
The campaign, which was originated in 2011, is now being managed and run independently, and will operate all year round but with a focus on July 4 each year – Independents’ Day – when consumers will be urged to support independent retailers in their local communities and online. The launch of this year’s campaign follows recent data from The Local Data Company and bira, the British Independent Retailers Association, which is backing the campaign, showing the independent retail sector saw a decrease of nearly 1500 shops in 2017.
“Independent retailers can really help you buy the right things,” explains Richard Balfe of Balfe’s Bikes, which has branches in Streatham, Dulwich and Kennington. “We have a lot of knowledge and people work in independent shops because they want to be here. By shopping locally, not only do you support your local area and the people who work and live in it, but also if, for example, you need work done on your bike, we can do that. You can’t do that online.”
“The retail landscape has really changed since we became one of the first independent family-run print and copy shops in the UK when my father opened in 1983,” says Vincent Goodman of Speedprint, an independent print and copy shop in Ilford, “which is why a campaign like this that focuses on the service and specialist knowledge that an independent retailer can provide is so important.”
“We have responded to customer requests for events, for example, by opening a supper club and by holding baking sessions for adults and kids,” says café owner Natalia Tarjanyi, who owns the popular Nati’s On Priory in Muswell Hill. “That’s something quite specific to small independent businesses which is why we think a campaign like this to promote independent retailers is so important.”
“We want Independents’ Day UK to be a campaign that independent retailers across sectors and throughout the country can use to promote their own businesses online and in their own communities,” explains campaign spokesman Howard Robinson. “We call it a grassroots movement because it needs the retailers’ active involvement and support. It needs independent retailers to grab it by the scruff of the neck and make it work for their own businesses.”
There are a number of ways in which retailers can get involved:
- Follow & engage with the campaign across its social media platforms.
- Share the campaign with fellow retailers and customers.
- Download the Independents’ Day UK logo and share it on their website, on their own social platforms and in their shop windows.
- Contribute a blog for the Independents’ Day website on issues important to them as an independent retailer.
- If your business has a particular story to tell, the campaign would also like to hear from you for possible inclusion in their series of ‘Retail Stories’ videos or on a future episode of their ‘Retail Stories’ podcast.
- Retailers can also consider now doing something special for Independents’ Day on July 4th – a special offer, event or promotion to bring people into their shop (particularly those who may not have visited before).
“It’s no secret that shoppers want diversity in their High Streets and independent retailers that give their towns a distinct character and service,” continues Howard. “Independent retailers offer choice, diversity of product and service, tradition as well as innovation, and a more personal service to customers. They are also job creators and contributors to local and national economies. And with retail spending under pressure, never have they needed support more and we hope this campaign will become a new way of generating that support.”
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ukindieday.