Suppliers challenged to engage Indie retailers as Independent’s Day approaches

Independents’ Day will take place on July 4 2020 as planned and in association with Maybe* social media service provider.

The campaign is aimed at supporting and promoting independent retail businesses across the UK all year round, but with an annual focus on July 4th: ‘Independents’ Day’ itself.

Independents account for something in the order of 65% of the approximately 290,000 retail outlets in the UK and are at the heart of local communities throughout the country.

Independent retailers offer choice, diversity of product and service, tradition as well as innovation, and a more personal service to customers. They are also job creators and contributors to local and national economies. And with retail spending under pressure, never have they needed our support more.

Shoppers want diversity in their High Streets and independent retailers that give their towns a distinct character and service. Now, more than ever, they also want to support local independent businesses, both retailers and producers/makers.

The chief operating officer of the Federation of Independent Retailers, said brands must also focus on winning independent retail business, saying: “My recommendations to suppliers everywhere are [to] recognise local shops, act now, pivot away and dispel previous myths and outcomes about the channel to move forward. Failing to recognise the emergence and importance of the local shop will contribute to a decline in distribution, visibility and sales, along with retailer advocacy over time. The latter contributes to a successful symbiotic relationship that ensures your products are promoted and sold through a channel that is frequented, appreciated, respected and loved by thousands of consumers every day.”

Recent research by YouGov found that one in three people have used local retailers more since coronavirus struck in the UK and 80% of those say they aim to carry on shopping with independents in future. This trend is running alongside a big rise in online shopping, which has particularly benefitted retailers with an efficient online ordering system and strong social media marketing to local communities.