30 Jun 2021
Independents' Day UK is taking place on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of July. The campaign was formed in partnership with Local Rewards, an organisation on a mission to help UK High Streets recover from COVID by rewarding shoppers for their purchases.
Of the UK’s 290,000 retail outlets, around 65% are independent shops. Independent businesses are the heart and soul of the UK economy. As well as providing us with the products we need and love, they play an important role in keeping our communities and the economy alive.
To say the last year and a half has been a challenge for independent retailers would e an understatement. COVID restrictions and the impact of Brexit have made it difficult for some of our favourite indies to compete with the Amazons of the world.
For our high streets to pull through and continue to serve our communities we, as loyal customers, need to to get out there and shop local! By staying true to our favourite independent brands, we’re more likely to get our high streets back on track quicker.
Independents’ Day UK is an opportunity for shoppers to show how much they appreciate independent outlets by paying them a visit (in-person or online) and buying their wares. Whether it's new clothes, some artisan cheese or a coffee or two with a friend.
More than ever, we’re being encouraged to shop locally to support our communities and help prevent our high streets from deteriorating.
Shoppers are worried about what the future holds for their local high streets. But according to research by Visa, if everyone in the local community spends an additional £5 per week with small businesses, it’ll help them to continue trading in the longer term.
If everyone in the local community spends an additional £5 per week with small businesses, it’ll help them to continue trading in the longer term.
Many fear the rise in empty shop fronts and three out of five consumers want to do more to support independent businesses. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that, according to Kantar, 65 per cent of UK consumers believe that local shops are important to the community.
“Consumers may have begun shopping locally out of necessity rather than choice, however they are rediscovering their local shop as a place for human contact and personal service when they need it most,” says Deborah Womack, director at Deloitte Digital.
Independent businesses across a range of sectors are facing monumental struggles right now. However, those operating in retail (for example) aren’t strangers to a challenge. Over the last few years, technology has had a huge impact on consumer behaviour.
Independent retailers are finding creative ways to leverage technology to differentiate themselves, get the word out, and offer an experience that large corporations can’t fulfil.
We’re seeing a rise in bricks and mortar-only retailers expanding their offering to an online audience, and indie brands coming up with creative ways to engage with their loyal customers on social media – especially during the pandemic.
Independent retailers have had to adapt to survive.
The easiest way to mark Independents’ Day UK 2021 is by shopping at local stores and independent online retailers.
Spread the word by encouraging friends, family and coworkers to shop locally too. Ultimately, the goal is to change customer habits in the longer term.
As a small business owner, encourage your loyal customers (or new ones) to pay your shop or website a visit this coming weekend. You may want to offer an incentive, such as 10% off everything in store. Or throw in a freebee when a customer spends over a certain amount.
Use social media to let your online community know how they can take part. Connect with others using the hashtag #ukindieday and follow @ukindieday on Twitter and Instagram!
We’re proud to have sourced funding for a wide range of incredible independent retailers across the UK, enabling them to adapt and grow despite ongoing economic uncertainty. Some of our favourite independent retailer customers include:
Harrogate Organics – an independent skincare brand provides products that help solve problems relating to sleep, stress, anxiety, fatigue and general wellbeing.
Will Bees Bespoke – Will designs and manufactures accessories in a range of styles, using over five hundred fabrics and two types of vegetable tanned leather.
Slumber Roo – an independent online retail company specialising in beautiful baby carriers, wraps and accessories.
Sterling Souvenirs – a London-based gifts and souvenirs brand selling merchandise that represents or is influenced by London.
Makebox & Co – UK craft subscription service selling all craft components you need to make stunning projects with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.
If you’re an independent business owner looking for finance to help your business get back on its feet (or if you need funding for expansion), we’re here for you.
You can use our platform to apply to the Recovery Loan Scheme or any other type of business finance, including bridging loans, trade finance, property development finance and more. We’ll match you with a funding option that fits your business needs.
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