The campaign is called Love Your Independents and includes ‘takeovers’ of the shoppinginbirmingham.com website, colourful window stickers for all independent businesses and social media advertisements promoting the independent sector. Promotional messages will also feature on local media and broadcast channels.
Love Your Independents is being supported by management teams at Great Western and Piccadilly Arcades; both central locations for dozens of small businesses offering unique reasons to visit Birmingham city centre.
Retail BID Birmingham is the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail and leisure area. Across the Retail BID area there are 100 independent businesses covering retail, food and drink and hair and and beauty salons.
A recent report by Birmingham-based bira, the trade association for independent retailers in the UK, revealed independents accounted for 64% of all retail and leisure units in the UK, with 2018 seeing growth in independent stores across shopping centres as landlords look for diversity and unique occupiers.
One of the city centre’s best known independent businesses is Great Western Arcade-based Loki Wine, founded by Phil Innes.
Loki won the Retailer of the Year category at this year’s Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce dinner and awards and has been recognised nationally for its innovative approach to retail and events.
“Since I opened Loki in 2012 the independent scene in Birmingham has gone from strength to strength, and now we have a real range of quality independent retailers in Birmingham the sector is only going to get better over the next few years,” explains Mr Innes, a Retail BID Board member.
“There is a realisation with the local population that independents offer far more to the local economy than chain businesses, but also offer a unique experience, high level customer service and great quality products.
“It is fantastic how the sector has now grown to 100 independent businesses in the Retail BID area, and is a testament to the work that is being done around Birmingham to make it more appealing to local businesses, and the improvement to the shopping areas to make the city centre more connected and attractive to shoppers.”
Recent Retail BID improvement works include street deep-cleaning to remove gum and grime and decorative planting boxes for the public protection barriers across the city centre.
Mr Innes says there is a great support network for independents in the city, and a family feel to the sector.
“This, combined with the great work that Retail BID do to focus on the sector through promotions such as Love Your Independents, alongside other organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce who have done a lot of work for the sector through campaigning and their business awards, shows the independent sector definitely has a bright future regardless of the proliferation of online retail.”
Find out more about the campaign at: www.shoppinginbirmingham.com.
Please view the video here.