Over 100 representatives from towns throughout the UK have shown their interest in creating “Christmas Shopping Crawls” to boost footfall to towns and retail centres during the critical peak Christmas trading period.


There were a record 83 registered attendees (with many more listening again later via https://www.dropbox.com/s/juyhbf1wpdehbjp/2012-10-09%2010.01%20How%20to%20Create%20a%20Christmas%20Shopping%20Crawl.wmv ) for a free webinar that took place on Tuesday: “How to create a Christmas Shopping Crawl”.

As founder of the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign, Clare Rayner, led the session which was hosted by ATCM (Association of Town Centre Management), key campaign supporters. During the webinar representatives of towns and retail organisations learned what was required to create and run a Christmas Shopping Crawl in their local area. Feedback was hugely positive and it is anticipated that consumers will be able to enjoy taking part in Christmas Shopping Crawls in numerous locations throughout the UK this year!


The Independent Christmas campaign runs from 12th November to Christmas day. Its focus is to encourage consumers to spend more of their Christmas budgets – be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering – with local, independent businesses. The campaign is inclusive of all those who serve consumers – so bars, restaurants and salons as well as traditional shops.


To capture consumers’ imaginations, and to encourage them to seek out their local independents, we are calling on “local activation partners” to work with the traders in their communities to create “Christmas Shopping Crawls”. Intended to be a lot of fun for consumers, and offering an opportunity for shoppers to win a prize for completing a crawl, shopping crawls also address the very serious issue of lack of footfall to our high streets.


Also this week the Local Data Company reported a worrying slow-down in the growth of Independent businesses in our high streets. The relatively stable high street vacancy rate had been attributed to a buoyant Independent sector, although now the growth has slowed from 2.4% in 2011 to just 0.8% in 2012. Since 67% of all retail and leisure units in the UK are home to independent businesses, a campaign such as this can have a very real, positive social and economic impact. By creating a sense of fun, excitement, some competition, and a community spirit, businesses who participate in a Christmas Shopping Crawl have the opportunity to engage new customers from their local area.


The campaign team are providing a complete solution for towns and participating retailers with window posters, template “Shopping crawl maps” and even cards to thank consumers for their business. To support all those involved there are downloadable guides available: “How to create a Christmas shopping crawl” and “How to make the most of participating in a Christmas shopping crawl”. A second webinar takes place on Monday 15th October at 7pm for the benefit of retailers who intend to take part (see https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/812235358 to register). Like the first, this will be recorded and made available to provide support for all those who were unable to participate in the live session.


Anyone interested in becoming either a local activation partner or in participating in a crawl should register their interest via www.indiechristmas.co.uk or by emailing champion@retailchampion.co.uk.


They are also keen to hear from businesses who would be interested in sponsoring the campaign – either nationally or at a local level – so please get in touch if that is something you’d like to find out more about. A full sponsor info pack can be found via http://www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/Indie%20Xmas%202012%20B2B%20Sponsorship%20Information.pdf


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