Independent Retailer Month is a promotional campaign to show to consumers the value in doing business with an independent retailer. The month-long shopping movement marks July as an time for communities to celebrate the diversity of local independent retail whilst stimulating the economy. Throughout a range of in-store, online and community events Independent Retailer Month connects consumers to the independent retailer sector highlighting their positive social and economic impact.
Where it all began:
Independent Retailer Month started life in the USA and was born from the collaboration of two very different individuals who share a common desire to salute independent retailers around the globe. In 2003, Tom Shay, principal of Profits Plus, created a holiday, ‘National Independent Retailer Week’, to show retailers how they could create celebrations for their communities, industries and own businesses.
In 2009 Kerry Bannigan, Founder and CEO of Nolcha, devised ‘Independent Retail Week’, a week-long, city-wide, shopping extravaganza in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Jersey advancing the business of independent fashion retailers. This initiative worked with over 300 retailers, garnered support from the city’s tourism boards, chambers of commerce and Mayor’s office; with features on NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS.
Early 2011 discussions began between Bannigan and Shay as they wanted to be inclusive of everyone that had some form of recognition for independent retailing. July 2011 Independent Retailer Month USA was born with the goal to become a global campaign highlighting the important role local merchant’s play in the community, economy and overall retail sector. The campaign expanded to the United Kingdom led by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion.
In 2012 the global campaign expanded to Canada, led by Barbara Crowhurst from Retail Makeover.
Independent Retailer Month Objectives:
* Impact the independent retail sector globally with relevant support, expertise and insights
* Connect consumers and communities to local retail merchants reminding them of the benefits of shopping local
* Engage small business organizations, networks and thought leaders to demonstrate the importance of independent retail to the global, national and local economy