Every year, on July 4, when our US friends are celebrating their independence, here in the UK we are praising our independent retailers.
The campaign has been running for the last few years to highlight the importance of small, local independent retailers and the role they play in creating diverse high streets and unique shopping experiences up and down the country.
Howard Robinson, campaign spokesman, said: “Independents' Day was first created in 2011 for two years but was relaunched by its new team in 2018.
“The aim is to provide a single campaign that individual independent retailers around the country can participate in, free of charge, and use as a way of promoting their own shops and the independent shops in the area around them.”
Independent retailers are important for towns and cities across the country for a variety of reasons; they add character, they provide a high level customer service and expertise and usually offer a range of products that can not be found elsewhere.
Howard added: “Frequently they are also in the best position to offer customers specialist advice on a product range or service.
“But more than that, by supporting local independent shops, you are putting back into your local economy; supporting jobs, as they are an important source of local employment and putting your money into the hands of the individuals and families that have created and maintained the business rather than into a large, often faceless corporation.”
Personal stylist Lindsay Edwards is so passionate about supporting independent brands that she is going to dedicate her Twitter feed to promoting as many UK-based local retailers as possible on July 3 and July 4, when the campaign is officially celebrated.
She said: “There are many independent retailers out there that are relatively unknown as they simply don’t have the marketing budget to compete with high street giants, yet they offer something extraordinary.
“Not only do these businesses deserve recognition, but people deserve to know about them too.”
Lindsay, of Reimagise Personal Styling, will be writing about some of her favourite independent retailers on July 3 and 4 her Instagram account @reimagise.
An independent shop owner who is championing Independents’ Day is Andy Sharma, who opened his namesake salon in Wimbledon Village, London, five years ago.
He said: “Opening up an independent business was going to be a struggle as clients felt safer going to brand names they know and trust.
“My unique and personal touch, however, resonates throughout my team and creates a luxurious, family friendly salon in the heart of the village.
“As an independent, people come to us for a special experience they can’t get anywhere else.
“Going to an independent salon means customers don’t have to follow the format of a chain and we can help them express their individuality.”
If you would like to support Independents’ Day UK yourself, you can do so simply by shopping at the many amazing independent shops we have in the UK.
Whether you are looking for a special gift or doing your weekly food shop, there are many places to visit. Look at independentsdayuk.org for more information.