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Indie month ‘success’ as sales jump

Brands are being called on to help indies with next year’s Independent Retailer Month after this year’s initiative was labelled a “resounding success”.

The UK’s third Independent Retailer Month took place in July, aiming to raise awareness of local businesses and drive footfall in town and village centres. Several thousand retailers took part.

Retail commentator Clare Rayner, who led the initiative and founded the Support for Independent Retail campaign, said feedback this year had been “unanimously positive”.

However, she added: “I’d like brands to focus more on helping their stockists. If they would provide marketing material it could really help because indies can’t afford these types of things.”

Among those joining in this year’s event was contemporary womenswear store Boudoir Femme in Cambridge, which offered free gifts and discounts to encourage return visits.

Owner Pippa Sandison said sales rose 20%, with the campaign boosted by the weather. “We were amazed,” she said. “Our efforts really seem to have paid off.”

St Albans womenswear retailer The Dressing Room offered double loyalty points every Saturday in July, resulting in turnover rising 3% on Saturdays compared with last year and 7% on 2011. On July 4 it offered an extra 10% off its Sale and saw a 72% uplift in turnover.

“For just a little effort and not much outlay we have raised awareness, increased turnover and added to our database,” said owner Deryane Tadd.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Without sounding too cynical, July was a good month for most, so how much extra business was really done because of the IRM? All brands I spoke to were either not aware of it, or didn't seem interested in it.

    Mention the word 'Indie' to a brand and you often get the 'poor payers, small orders, why bother look'. Getting them onside won't be easy.

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