While the business pages of the national newspapers may be dominated with the big named retailers this week’s Drapers Fashion Awards provided the opportunity for a light to be shone on the smaller players in the market.
One thing I noticed at this year’s awards was that, while all winners looked ecstatic at being announced as the victor, those from smaller establishments took to the stage overjoyed and in some cases on the verge of tears. This shows just how much winning a Drapers award can mean to a business.
After years of working away it is wonderful that Drapers is able to provide indies with the recognition they deserve. The high street is a particularly tough environment at the moment and so there is no better time to celebrate the little stores that make our high streets great and give them an individual personality.
The best of the indie stores deserve to be praised as much as the larger multiples do, in some cases perhaps even more. The small indies often do not have a huge amount of financial backing or copious amounts of resource and have had to work tirelessly to cater to their local customers’ demands.
Winning a Drapers Fashion Award could help small town indies get their name out there and as a result increase footfall and therefore sales.
“It will make a difference to the business as we will get as much pr out of it as possible,” said Keith Ewing, owner of Stirling lifestyle indie Number Eight, which won the Menswear Retailer of the Year award. “It’s so nice to get the support.”
The winning indies are a huge inspiration to all and I think many could learn much from the way these award winning businesses operate.
Victoria Gallagher, senior news reporter