Independent Retailer Month has kicked off.
And Retail Champion, Clare Rayner is calling on brands to put their weight behind the month-long celebration and engage with consumers by engaging in promotions with retailers.
Rayner – who launched Independent Retailer Month in 2011 – has stated that it is ‘imperative that shoppers throw their support behind the drive’ but that there is also ‘enormous potential for brands to lead by example, while engaging with a national consumer base’.
She said: "Large brands understand the influence that a network of good, proactive independent retailers can have on customer perception of their brands, and they have the marketing clout to really throw their weight behind initiatives like Independent Retailer Month to help drive home to the consumer the unique, exclusive benefits that shopping locally can offer.
"The past two years have seen us get some real power-houses behind us, and we’re urging other brands to follow their lead and join the revolution, encouraging people to think twice about turning to out-of-town shopping centres, and to instead support their local independents."
Last year’s event saw paints and coatings specialist, AzkoNobel introduce an incentive scheme for home-improvement enthusiast around the Dulux Dog.
Carly Knight, shopper marketing manager at AzkoNobel, said: "The concept was simple but effective. We ran a promotion on our Dulux Painting Mixing products, which was exclusive to our independently-operated Dulux Colour and Advice stores.
"Available Friday to Sunday throughout July 2012, the incentive mechanic meant that whenever a customer spent £30 on the paint-mixing service, they received a free, limited-edition Dulux Dog cuddly toy."
This year, Rayner is encouraging similar promotions across all retailers participating.