40 Days Until Independents’ Day 2012

UK’s towns get ready to celebrate their local shops

Independents Day 2012This Friday, 25th May, marks 40 days until Independents’ Day 2012.

On Wednesday 4th July retailers and towns across the country will celebrate the many and varied independent retailers in the UK. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the contribution independents make to high streets and encourage the public to buy at least one item from them on the day.

Towns and retailers have been encourage to put on special events and promotions for the day, including themed window displays, high street festivities and offers. The National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops will be putting on activities to promote the work they do to help independent retailers become more profitable and successful.

Lorna Dainton from Academy ONE, the NSA for Retail’s skill shop in Liverpool, said:

“Academy ONE is fully supporting Independents’ Day and we believe it is a great initiative to champion the many thousands of independent shops across the UK. There are thousands of fantastic independents in the Liverpool city region, from quirky clothes shops to award winning butchers and bakers – Academy ONE is already providing training and support to many of these businesses, to improve their overall performance, the skills and customer service of their staff, and to support them to be successful and profitable.”

Mark Cordell, Chief Executive for Bid4Bury added:

“Bury St Edmunds is again celebrating and supporting Independents’ Day. This year it falls on a Wednesday so as well as the great array of independent business in the town, we will also be involving the produce market traders. This will make it a great day for our loyal, local shoppers to come into our lovely market town to support our high quality independent businesses. With our close proximity to the local US Air Force bases we will also welcome an Uncle Sam stilt walker to the town.”

Independent retailers make up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK: their importance to local economies as well as their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivaled.

Jane Rexworthy, Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail said:

“People are passionate about their local shops and appreciate the contribution they make to a town’s personality. But we all need to make sure we use them and show support for the high streets. Independents’ Day is an exciting way to showcase the variety of independent retailers and traders in the UK, and get the British public spending in them.”

“The campaign is also a chance for us to celebrate the talented and hardworking individuals who run these independent shops. In these tough economic conditions, retailers must be skilled business people to stay competitive. The National Skills Academy for Retail offers a range of support and advice to help independents do this, as well as supporting Apprenticeships to ensure the next generations of shop owners are in the making.”

The campaign, now in its second year, champions diversity on the high street and recognises the skills behind the shop front. This year, Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail have teamed up with trade associations including British Independent Retailers Association (bira), National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG), Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA), as well as the My Shop is Your Shop, Indie Bound and Independent Retailer Month campaigns.

To stay up to date with all the activities, you can follow the campaign on Twitter @Retail_IndieDay or on facebook at facebook.com/independentsday.

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