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Sales curb indies’ support for Independents’ Day

Independents’ Day, the nationwide drive to champion independent retail, has received a lukewarm response from fashion indies in the run-up to its second annual event on July 4.

The event, run by retail industry training body Skillsmart Retail, will take place on July 4 and encourages customers to buy at least one item from their local shops on that day.

Last year’s event garnered enthusiasm from retailers but was criticised for its short lead time, after launching just a month before the day, and a lack of joined-up support.

Kerry Burgess-Ayala, director of marketing and communication at Skillsmart Retail, said it has spent five months promoting this year’s event.

However, a number of indies have admitted to receiving information about the event but have still decided against getting involved, citing factors that include it clashing with Sales.

Jo Davies, owner of premium womenswear indie Black White Denim in Wilmslow, Cheshire, said: “It’s a nightmare time for us because we are bang in the middle of the Sale period, which is not a time we want to drive loads of new customers into store.”

Annette Williams, owner of womenswear indie Yasmine in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, said: “I do know about it but I felt it wasn’t for us and it is too near to Sale time.”

Womenswear boutique The Dressing Room in St Albans said it was running a series of initiatives but as part of Independent Retailer Month, which will include Independents’ Day.

Readers' comments (2)

  • It is such a shame that more indies are not really getting behind this initiative. We are doing lots of initiatives throughout July for Independent Retailer month - competitions, double loyalty points, personal styling sessions etc. These will all drive footfall and reward repeat spenders. It's not about giving extra discount during sale time, more about reminding people the importance of shopping indie.

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  • I may be missing the point here, but isn't it the point of sales to drive footfall and clear residual stock?

    What better time for a campaign that encourages local people to purchase from their local stores, especially seeing as the product will be discounted.

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