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Double the reason to celebrate UK indies

Ana Santi

Without independent retailers, fashion would be a dull industry.

Without independent retailers, fashion would be a dull industry. We depend on inspiring indies to trawl the globe for the most exciting, new brands, offer unrivalled customer service, develop quirky retail concepts – whether on or offline – and campaign for this all-important sector to thrive.

It’s no wonder, then, that last year’s Drapers Inspiring Indies list wasn’t long enough. Forget profiling just 50 of the best boutiques; for 2012, we’ve doubled it to 100 to reflect the depth and talent in UK independent retailing.

Like last year, the Drapers Inspiring Indies list for 2012 is compiled by you, our readers. We were inundated with peer nominations, which we whittled down to 100 names. Those talented 100 boutiques then ranked each other.

What makes each and every one of the indies special is their unique take on retailing for their specific customer base. But they are united by one thing: a love and knowledge of product. Read through each entry and that becomes crystal clear; great indies have an eye for product, whether it’s bringing new brands to the UK or their home towns, or editing existing collections.

This supplement features retailers across all fashion sectors and includes long-standing family businesses and fledgling boutiques – some have been open for just a year – demonstrating how traditional indies have found ways to adapt their business models, while new names have taken the initiative to launch new concepts.

Congratulations to all who made the list – you deserve it.

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