Contemporary womenswear indie The Dressing Room says it has already received a 4% boost in sales thanks to special promotions and events arranged for Independent Retailer Month.
The initiative, which runs throughout July, aims to encourage consumers to shop in local stores and increase footfall over July, but it has met with resistance from fashion indies as it clashes with end of season sales.
However Deryane Tadd, owner of St Albans-based The Dressing Room, said so far it had been a positive experience.
“It has been a great way to engage with our customers,” she said. “It is great to remind people of the difference that shopping local makes to their community and to their shopping experience.”
As part of its series of events, the store asked consumers to tell them “Why do you shop independent?”. Consumers posted their reasons online and the best comment each week wins a prize. It also entered every purchase – in-store and online – into a raffle for a chance to win a luxury goody bag.
But, according to Tadd, the most successful promotion to date has been the offer of double loyalty points on every Saturday throughout July. “This has had a fantastic effect, increasing footfall and boosting trade on Saturdays by 4% as a direct result of the promotion,” she said.
She added: “To run this campaign during July has actually been a real success – it has driven footfall at a time when we need to shift sale stock, but we can also show people new season stock at the same time”.
Clare Rayner, retail expert and founder of The Retail Champion and the UK lead for Independent Retailer Month, said the figures proved that engaging local customers and promoting the benefits of shopping with independents would get results.