As Independent Retailer Month enters its third week, the campaign is urging retailers to recognise the benefits of collaboration on the High Street.
The campaign has already seen hundreds of small businesses running events and activities to raise awareness of their local High Street, and now Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion and Founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign, wants indies to start working together.
“Other than opening later in the evenings or physically pushing people through the shop doors, independent retailers should collaborate to figure out ways to bring the excitement and enticement back to the High Street," said Rayner.
“By working together to find fun, original ways to promote each other, local independent retailers can engage the public’s interest and help them to understand the benefits of shopping locally.
“Collaborative events can go a long way to bringing a community together and increasing footfall on the High Street. Although some customers may get involved in the events and activities for July only, many more will remember the experience and find themselves shopping in their local stores again in the future.
“Consumers need to be reminded of the advantages of shopping locally, and how those advantages benefit not only the smaller businesses and boutique shops, but the local economy as a whole.
“By offering unique shopping experiences and a range of high-quality products, independent businesses already have the upper hand on shopping centres and out-of-town retailers, it’s about time we joined forces to make sure that consumers recognise that too.”
Cambridge BID has already embraced the notion of collaboration by uniting over 45 of the city’s independent shops with special offers, competitions, events and promotions.
This includes a Discovery Card scheme which invites consumers to collect six stamps from different participating businesses in order to be entered into a prize draw to win £150.
“Cambridge BID is committed to working with independent retailers and, by encouraging them to work collaboratively, giving them a stronger voice," said Rachel Rissbrook, Cambridge BID’s marketing and commercial manager.
"By introducing the Discovery Card this year, we are aiming to generate even greater awareness of independents and higher footfall to those businesses.
"We are proud of our city and believe that independent businesses are a key contributor to our vibrant centre and thriving economy.”