To be held on 4 July, the third annual Independents’ Day is a nationwide event designed to get the public to visit independent retailers they may have previously overlooked.
By joining forces with Independent Retailer Month, Independents’ Day will kick start ‘retail champion’ Clare Rayner’s month-long celebration of independent retail in the UK.
Both campaigns have the support of a variety of trade associations, including the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) and Action for Market Towns.
Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, which runs the Independents’ Day event, Jane Rexworthy said: “Independent retailers make up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK and their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivalled. We recognise how important they are to local economies and to create a healthier high street, and we are delighted to give independent retailers a voice to reach out the public.
“Throughout the campaign we aim to raise importance of independent retailers with consumers, encouraging people to shop locally, throughout the year, and particularly on Thursday, 4 July. We also want to raise awareness amongst the independent retailers of the vast amount of support and training that is now available at a substantially reduced price, to assist them in acquiring and improving essential skills which can really make a difference to their bottom line.”
Clare Rayner added: “I’m delighted to work alongside the National Skills Academy for Retail, and it’s great to have this national, consumer-facing event as a kick start to this year’s Independent Retailer Month.
“While we’re focusing on celebrating our smaller retailers and consumer facing businesses it is important to remind ourselves that many smaller businesses are still in a precarious position. Research produced from bira showed that some 16 per cent of all independent retailers fear they will not survive 2013 if things don’t improve. The loss of more shops from our high streets and villages is a very real risk. If something isn’t done to help re-connect local consumers with local businesses, it is forecast that the UK high street vacancy rate could climb from around 14 per cent to an alarmingly high 17 per cent.
“It’s simple, effective activities, such as these campaign events, that can really help to start the process of changing consumer habits, reminding people that they stand to lose all the fantastic shops in their area if they never visit them and never spend with them.”
Retailers involved in the campaigns can display their support through a range of free, downloadable materials and resources from www.retailindieday.com and www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/resources/