The Enjoy an Independent Easter campaign has engaged with 56 towns, including over 1100 retailers, who are all creating “Easter Egg Hunts” to tackle the issue of declining footfall in towns and village centres. The hunt will officially begin on Saturday March 23 and run through until Sunday April 14, capturing the whole of the school Easter holiday period.
Groups of Independent traders are listed on an “Easter egg hunt map” and shoppers collect “eggs” (cute little Easter egg stickers that are placed on their maps) to complete the hunt. Once the qualifying number of eggs are collected the map is swapped for a real chocolate egg and a certificate of completion, awarded to all the children taking part.
The event was produced by retail champion Clare Rayner, who said: “It’s no secret that UK retailers, and particularly the smaller, independent businesses, need all the help they can get. Research produced by our official supporter, BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association), and one of our sponsors (O2 Priority Moments) showed that some 16% of all independent retailers fear they will not survive 2013 if things don’t improve. With LDC (Local Data Company) stats showing that Independent Retailer numbers declined in the 2nd half of 2012, for the first time in 2 years, the loss of more shops from our high streets and villages is a very real risk. If something isn’t done to help re-connect local consumers with local businesses, it is forecast that the UK high street vacancy rate could climb from c. 14% to an alarmingly high 17%. It’s simple, effective activities, such as the Easter egg hunt, that can really help to start the process of changing consumer habits, reminding people that they stand to lose all the fantastic shops in their area if they never visit them and never spend with them.”
It is hoped that shoppers who take part in the Easter egg hunt will have a lot of fun and that the retailers involved will have the opportunity to meet with, and chat to, potential customers who have perhaps in the past overlooked them.
To find out more about the Easter egg hunts, including which locations are participating, see www.indieeaster.co.uk/easter-egg-hunts.