Campaign calls on shops to join Easter activity and boost footfall to UK towns

shutterstock_129800495The Support for Independent Retail campaign is egging on small businesses and towns across the UK to organise and run Easter Egg Hunts in their areas, as the annual ‘Enjoy an Independent Easter’ event marks its third year.

The Easter event is designed to improve footfall to village, town and city centres around the country, as retail parks and out-of-town establishments continue to lure shoppers away from local high streets.

Clare Rayner, founder of Support for Independent Retail explains: “Enjoy an Independent Easter is a great activity to get people shopping locally. It’s fun for all the family and it will make sure that those consumers are aware of the fantastic, unique shops that can be found right on their doorsteps!”

The Easter Egg Hunt invites consumers to collect Easter Egg stickers from various participating independent retailers. Once they’ve collected all of their stickers, they win a special Easter treat – and, in some areas, can even be entered into a prize draw.

Although consumers aren’t required to buy anything when they collect their stickers, the purpose of the campaign is to highlight the great customer experience they can find in smaller shops – increasing the chances of future visits to make purchases and of recommendations to friends.

Clare continues: “It’s absolutely vital that independent retailers get involved and help to organise an Easter Egg Hunt for their area. Footfall statistics across the last year were incredibly disappointing for high streets and shopping centres, so independent retailers were among the many that missed out.”

“That shouldn’t be the case – independent retailers are a vital part of the UK’s shopping scene, and consumers need a gentle nudge to remind them to spend with their local shops. Enjoy an Independent Easter is all about raising awareness and educating shoppers on how important independent retailers are to the local economy.”

“Research by CLES and FSB has shown that for every pound spent locally, between 50p and 70p will be put back into the local economy. If that pound is spent out of town, only 5p trickles back. That’s what we need to get across to shoppers.”

While the amount of independent retailers continues to grow, local shops are still struggling to pull in customers. Springboard data revealed that year-round footfall remains on the decline: December was 0.7% down on the previous year and the three-month average is now at a 1.3% decline. Unlike high streets and shopping centres, out-of-town experienced positive footfall growth for every month in 2014.