Independent Retailer Month 2012 Launch Conference Attracts some Award Winning Speakers!

For the first time in 2012 Independent Retailer Month will launch the UK arm of this global “shop local” campaign with a unique conference that is specifically designed to provide independent retail business owners with relevant, practical advice, expert insights and peer group networking.

The recent study by Local Data Company showed that the number of independent retailers had grown in 2011, but no one is under any illusion about how challenging the market remains. Independent Retailers are under-served compared to the multiples when it comes to content-rich events and networking opportunities, and yet have no less need. To answer this need the team behind Independent Retailer Month have created an event uniquely for Independent Retailers. The Independent Retailer Month UK Launch Conference, that takes place on Sunday 1st July at Cranmore Park near Birmingham, will be a day packed full of keynote presentations, workshops, a panel discussion, 1-2-1 “ask the expert” sessions and plenty of networking time.

A highlight of the agenda is that 3 keynote presentations will be delivered by 3 very successful independent retailer speakers, sharing their lessons learned and hints and tips relevant to all. These speakers include Drapers Multi-Award winner Deryane Tadd of The Dressing Room in St Albans and Paul Turner-Mitchell from 25Ten Boutique in Rochdale, both of whom were recently named in the Drapers fashion power-list as 2 of the top 100 most influential people in UK fashion!

The event also includes a panel discussion with panellists from 5 of the Independent Retailer Month official supporters. Panellists include: Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), Action for Market Towns (AMT) and National Skills Academy for Retail. These panellists each have a unique perspective on what needs to be done to create a platform for smaller retail businesses to be successful. The audience will be able to quiz panellists on how their organisations are acting in the interests of smaller retailers and will learn that these organisations can represent the voice of Independent Retailers right through to central government.

Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion and UK lead for Independent Retailer Month explained why she decided to create such an event: “For the past 6 years I’ve been delivering The Retail Conference, a high-quality, content-rich event developed for retail multiples. This event was never designed to answer the needs of Independents, therefore I felt that to fulfil my role, championing independent retailers AND leading Independent Retailer Month in the UK, I MUST provide an event of exceptional quality and content for the independent sector. I am delighted with the outcome – the speaker list is outstanding, the agenda offers relevant subjects for independent retailers, the venue is superb, and delegates are going to be well looked after – the event is fully catered with a delicious lunch included! Obviously it costs a great deal to put on an event like this, so I am enormously grateful to our sponsors because without their contribution it would not be possible to offer a ticket price of just £50, something that makes it affordable to smaller, retail businesses.”

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