The Giftware Association (GA) has got behind the ‘Celebrate an Independent Christmas’ initiative to encourage shoppers to buy from local independents rather than multiples in a six-week long campaign from November 12 until Christmas Day. The campaign is a nationwide effort to improve footfall to high streets, towns and village centres; to increase consumer confidence, and to boost retail sales.
GA chief executive Isabel Martinson says the association will disseminate details of the campaign for its members and act as a conduit to encourage them to participate. She adds: “It’s a no-brainer. The more business our independent retail members do at Christmas, the better it is for our supplier members.”
Clare Rayner, the ‘retail champion’ and founder of the campaign, says: “Consumers will be encouraged to spend a proportion of their Christmas budgets – be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering – with local, independent businesses. The campaign will be inclusive of all those who serve consumers – so bars, restaurants and salons as well as traditional shops.”
The message to consumers from the campaign will be that buying from an independent typically guarantees them a more unique, personal experience. It will highlight that if consumers are looking for a bit of indulgence at this celebratory time of year; if they are seeking more unusual gifts; unique outfits; delicious treats or special social occasions, they should explore their local independents.
To capture consumers’ imaginations and encourage them to make the effort to seek out their local independents, the campaign will be calling on retailers and business organisations to work together to create ‘Christmas Shopping Crawls’. These are intended to be a lot of fun and shoppers will have an opportunity to win a prize for completing a crawl.
Many retailers achieve more than 30% of their annual sales in the six weeks before Christmas.