Independents’ Day 2012 launches

A national campaign aimed at celebrating the UK’s independent retailers has been launched by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail.

 

Independents’ Day encourages the public to buy at least one thing from their local, independent shop on 4th July.  Over the next four months, retailers will be encouraged to download the campaign posters from www.retailindieday.com, celebrate the day in their stores and join forces with other retailers and town centre teams to hold special events to capture the public’s imagination.

 

Independent retailers make up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK: their importance to local economies as well as their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivaled.

 

The campaign, now in its second year, champions diversity on the high street and recognises the skills behind the shop front. This year, Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail have teamed up with trade associations including British Independent Retailers Association (bira), National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG), Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA), as well as the My Shop is Your Shop, Indie Bound and Independent Retailer Month campaigns.

 

Skillsmart Retail joined forces with the Waterloo Quarter BID team and the stunning range of independent retailers in the area, which includes Lower Marsh, to help launch the campaign four months out from the big day.

 

Jane Rexworthy, Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail said: “We are delighted to lead this campaign to celebrate diversity in retail. Independents’ Day aims to highlight the huge range of skills successful independent retailers need to make our towns and cities such interesting and varied places to visit and shop.

 

“The National Skills Academy for Retail offers a wide range of support directly to retailers to help them get ahead. It’s essential independent retailers understand that to compete today they have to have the best people as well as products, and that training and development can really make a difference. We recognise how vital small shops are to a healthy high street and we are making it easier for them to access schemes such as Apprenticeships. Over the next few months we want to encourage independent retailers to get behind this campaign and ensure their skills are top notch so they are ready for Independents’ Day.”

 

Helen Santer, Waterloo Quarter Director of Operations, said: “We heard about Independents’ Day last year and are really thrilled to be able to be involved in 2012. We have a fantastic range of independent retailers in the area who showcase the variety that’s out there and help make Waterloo a ‘hidden gem’ in London. We will be running a number of activities throughout July so make sure you’re in the area!”

 

Chris Smith, owner of independent supermarket Greensmiths in Lower Marsh, Waterloo, said: “We were delighted to be asked to take part in Independents’ Day this year. I’ve owned my shop for more than three years and knowing that customers really value you is so important.”

 

Nat Morris, manager of Ian Allan Bookshop in Lower Marsh, Waterloo, said: “Our customers love coming in to an independent shop  –  and we think more should be done to celebrate independent bookshops – that’s why we got involved in the campaign.”

 

Sarah Garrard, who has owned florist Floramay in Kennington Road, Waterloo for five years, said: “It’s tough being an independent as you have to work a little bit harder, but that just means you care more about your customers.”

 

The Waterloo retailers are an example of the huge variety of independent retailers you can find across the UK and are keen to participate in the activities that will be taking place up and down the country to celebrate Independents’ Day.

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