I2i Events Group, the organiser of Autumn Fair International and Spring Fair International, is delighted to be announced as an Official Supporting Partner for Independent Retailer Month, due to launch on Sunday July 1 2012.
The event is designed to give an additional boost to independents during challenging economic conditions, which have seen shoppers drifting away from the high street to out of town shopping centres. During the annual Independent Retailer Month, store owners around the UK display posters urging their customers to celebrate their valued local independent retailers, encouraging them to ‘come inside to find out more’.
Throughout July, independents will work together within their local communities, creating engaging activities, promotions and events that will engage and attract shoppers, showcasing the best of what they’ve got to offer and reminding shoppers about what they’re missing out on by neglecting their local stores.
Leading the project in the UK is The Retail Champion Clare Rayner, who is keen to explain why it is vital for both retailers and consumers to support each other as much as possible if the high street is to survive with all its diversity and vibrancy intact.
Says Rayner: “Shoppers need reminding about what’s on their doorstep – and that’s what Independent Retailer Month is all about. Independent retailers offer local communities around the country friendly meeting places to shop, socialise and generally enjoy day-to-day life – they are what make our individual towns unique. Without this independent spirit our towns would be dull and bland clones, with all the same shop fronts. We are delighted to have the show that represents the largest gathering of indies in the UK helping us promote the initiative.”
The Spring and Autumn Fairs not only offer thousands of new products to buyers, but also invaluable business advice, important industry updates and essential insights into future trends.
i2i Events Head of Marketing for the Autumn and Spring Fairs, Lorna Charlish, says: “We’re very proud to be official partners in this wonderful initiative. The vast majority of buyers who attend our shows are independent retailers, who turn up in their tens of thousands and do so much to keep this industry varied and interesting. Independents are renowned for their distinct product offering, personal approach and excellent customer service. We do all we can to support them.”
There are over 169,000 independent retail businesses in the UK – 92% of all retail businesses – and on average 60% of all town centre shops are occupied by independent businesses. They are also an integral part of local economies and contribute greatly to local employment. It is quoted that for every £1 spent with a local business, 50-70p makes its way back into the local economy, compared to just 5p of the £1 spent out of town… so if shoppers really care about the community and don’t want to lose their independent retailers then they need to make the effort to visit them a little more often and buy from them when they can.