The Shop Local Week campaign – part of the Government’s broader #EnjoySummerSafely campaign – kicked off last Monday (August 10) and continued until yesterday (August 16). So did more people head to their local high streets because of the Government initiative, or are consumers in general now preferring to shop with their local independents?
“We didn’t promote the campaign but always use #shopsmall #shoplocal #shopindependent in our social media posts,” confirmed Rachel Bates, owner of The Celtic Company in Welshpool. “It’s something that we have been keen to promote on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Currently trade is steady and going well, and since re-opening we have found a resurgence in customers wanting to shop local and support their high street which has been greatly welcomed. For us, encouraging customers to stay local and shop local comes down to service and going the extra mile.”
“I would say that people are already shopping locally, and even more since the lockdown measures have been eased,” says Jon May, co-owner of Mooch Gifts & Home gift shops in Bewdley and Stourport. “We are operating on reduced hours yet our revenue is still up year-on-year. People are avoiding large cities and shopping centres and opting to keep it local, supporting shops like ours. There needs to be more positive press coverageshowing that not every high street in the UK is on its knees. In fact, it’s quite the opposite in some locations, as more people choose to shop local.”
Continues Jon: “The local business promotion Facebook page I set up and run, Shop, Eat, Sleep Bewdley, has seen a 20% increase in followers since lockdown with more and more people looking to shop locally.”
Jo Webber, owner of Jo Amor in Tiverton, agrees “Shop local has always been important to us . Since re-opening after lockdown, shop local is even more important. We often have chit chats with our customers who have told us that this is the first shop that they have chosen to visit, that they feel safe with us.” She continued: “Our shop is not just a shop, it’s a destination where we create a special, unique edit of gifts, cards and fashion for our loyal customers who we value and care about.”