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Guide to promote indies is mapped out by The Hut

The owners of designer independent The Hut in Stamford, Lincolnshire, have launched a guide to promote small businesses in UK market towns.

Co-owners Charlie and Alison Freestone’s pocket-sized free map, Charlie’s Guide To…, will be published next month. The guide will feature the names and locations of participating indies, including clothing retailers.

Stores will put stickers in their windows identifying them as a retailer featured in the guide.

The Hut co-owner Alison Freestone said: “Being an independent store owner for the past six years has given me an insight into what retailers want and what customers are asking for. Often visitors to a town want to find those little retail gems, but they are not easily accessible or obvious to find. Charlie’s Guide To… can change that.”

She added: “Shops that participate will be in the guide along with their full address and website, which could aid follow-up business.”

Some 27 fashion indies have signed up to be included in the guide, which so far only covers the Lincolnshire area, including womenswear retailer Arch Label Agency and lingerie retailer Chameleon, both in Stamford.

Arch Label Agency owner Susie Archer said: “I was approached by Alison, who posted flyers in the town to gauge interest in the guide. I thought it was a fantastic idea as I am a niche shop and off the beaten track, and the area is not great for footfall. However, once customers come to the store I usually receive repeat business, which is why I anticipate this will be great for my profile.”

The Freestones want to expand the guide to other towns in the UK. Any interested indies should call 01536 771274 or visit www.charliesguide.com.

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