If the title of this blog leaves you imagining a high street full of Harrison Fords then ladies of a certain age can calm down now and gentleman of the same age need not feel so threatened: when I refer to Indies I am actually referring to Independent Retailers!
When Tony Robinson OBE; yes I also have the joy of dragging around Leonara Soculitherz’s hapless and hopeless agent though I have to say I find him a joy to work with and not half as stupid as she makes out – maybe this is because I also own a fleece (only for skiing purposes before anyone calls the fashion police) – anyway where were we? When Tony and I launched Enterprise Rockers, the global movement to make life in micro business better and fairer, I pledged only to buy from Independents – Retailers, Service Providers, Restaurants, Hotels etc etc the list is endless though of course there are a number of exceptions where this is not possible but then I look for the organisations that offer great customer service or just get me from A to B as quickly & cheaply as possible (planes/trains)
So since January of this year I have been ‘Shopping with the Indies’ and what a joy it has been. We are very lucky in my home town of Scarborough, UK to have a long established family owned supermarket group, Proudfoots, who are forward thinking and very supportive of local food producers so that solves that problem and beyond food it is amazing what you find when you have to rule out high street stores.
I have to say if I ring somewhere I don’t know to make a booking or an enquiry about the things they sell the conversation usually starts with ‘Hello can I ask are you independently owned’ and once the person on the other end realises I am not completely barking mad it makes for some great dialogue while they bestow on me the benefits of their business.
Through my Enterprise Rockers work and my Indie obsession I have met a great lady called Clare Rayner. Clare is a retail champion (for all different types of retail not just Indie) and she heads up the Independent Retailer Month that takes place across the UK in July. Originally a USA initiative it crossed the water and started in the UK in 2011 and this year it is really gaining momentum thanks to Clare’s guidance and the merry band of supporters and sponsors that are involved. If you are an Independent Retailer reading this blog and have not already registered to take part in Independent Retailer Month 2012 might I suggest you head straight to independentretailermonth.co.uk and do so now (if you are reading this in the States then independentretailermonth.com is the place for you) . These websites not only provide an opportunity to promote your business for free but to get useful hints and tips about running your retail business.
Of course if you don’t own an independent retail business I am guessing you still need to shop so why not visit the either website and do a search for both online and offline retailers; trust me shopping with the Indies is great fun and in many cases these businesses are micro businesses – Happy Shopping everyone!