The Support for Independent Retail campaign “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” has already confirmed 47 locations will run a local “Christmas Shopping Challenge” to help boost footfall and sales for independent traders during the peak festive season… and there is still time for more areas to get involved!
The challenge is intended to engage more family shoppers in the busy pre-Christmas period and will see children rewarded with “bauble” stickers for visiting shops listed on a local shopping challenge map. Each bauble enables the child to “decorate a Christmas tree” on the front of their map. When ten are collected and the tree is complete, the child is further rewarded with a pretty certificate of completion and a little treat. One of the reasons why parents turn to online shopping at Christmas is that children easily tire of trawling the high street – with the Christmas Shopping Challenge it will be the kids pulling the adults around the shops for a change!
In addition to the “Christmas Shopping Challenge” the campaign encourages retailers and town centres to really work hard to engage shoppers this Christmas, creating promotions, activities and events that capture the imagination of the local community, reminding people exactly what their local centres have to offer them, making doing the Christmas shopping as much fun as a day out at Santa’s grotto! Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign, is committed to helping them do just that:
“Consumers are increasingly choosy as to where they spend their time and money. Families in particular are under a huge amount of pressure at Christmas, juggling school, work and family social occasions as well as trying to buy gifts and festive food on a budget. We know consumers want to buy more special gifts and more indulgent foods, and we know that independent retailers can offer them that, but we need to recognise that the appeal of late night shopping online, or out of town, can be very compelling vs. trawling a busy high street. For towns and retail centres to stand a chance of drawing in the family footfall and spending, they need to create something that not only ensures all their shopping needs can be met, but that also provides the necessary entertainment that will make shopping locally a pleasure and not a chore!”
All those taking part in the Christmas Shopping Challenge have access to a range of free, downloadable materials and helpful resources, from promotional posters and thank-you cards, to recorded webinars that step participants through exactly what’s involved in creating a successful Christmas Shopping Challenge. To find out more see http://www.indiechristmas.co.uk/resources/.
Rayner continued “Our independent retailers NEED good Christmas sales. For many the festive period represents between 30-60% of their annual turnover. If they are to survive another year of tough trading, and with business rates rising again in 2014, then the 2013 Christmas trade will be critical. If shoppers really care about supporting local, independent businesses then they need to vote with their feet and with their wallets…”
“…but retailers can’t just expect shoppers to support them! It’s the duty of all consumer-facing businesses to give shoppers every reason to come to them, and to keep them coming back. By taking part in this activity I hope that more shoppers will realise what fantastic traders are on their doorsteps, and will make spending a little more with their local independent businesses not just a one-off for Christmas but something they do all year round.” she added.
To find out which areas have already confirmed that they will be putting on a “Christmas Shopping Challenge” see www.indiechristmas.co.uk/christmas-shopping. Retailers, town teams, local councils and BIDs interested in taking part can stay up to date with all the activities by following @IndieRetailUK on Twitter, by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IndieChristmas or by subscribing to the newsletter via www.indiechristmas.co.uk