Well, it really does look like we'll be having a white Christmas. First one in I don't know how many years.
While it does look very pretty from the inside of the shop, it does create havoc on the roads and boy is it cold! Still it may just force us all to have a relaxing Christmas!
It's true to say that retail, especially independents, find business a bit more challenging, and we're pleased to say that out customers have been very loyal to us.
I read the following on the website of one of our favourite suppliers, Best Years and thought I'd post it on here for you all to read. You can see more from them at http://www.bestyears.co.uk/
"I can’t say that I am a natural ally of thinktanks, especially one called the New Economics Foundation but I’m raising a loud cheer for a report that they have just published called “Clone Towns”
The report states that 41% of UK towns are “clone towns” which they defined as having more than half the stores are multiple retailers. Only 36% of high streets surveyed retained their distinctive character.
Cambridge came in for a particular bashing. The university landlords have reacted to the recession by increasing rents to the point that independent retailers have been forced off the High st and have left just a bland mix of muliple retailers who can be found anywhere
As a soft toy wholesaler who only supplies independent shops (plus really nice multiples like John Lewis and JoJo Maman Bebe) you can understand why we heartedly agree with any report supporting independent retailers but why should any one else care?
Well, places like Brighton’s Lanes and Whistable who have a thriving community of independent retailers bring in visitors from all over the country. They come, and they spend money! An interesting and diverse high street will attract people and their pounds which surely is a good thing
Although the very large shopping centres such as Blue Water also bring in visitors from miles away most ordinary high streets with a Next, Marks and Spencers and Boots do not bring in anyone who is not local.
Independent stores with their unique ranges not only add a welcome diversity to high streets but also foster a sense of community. Who are you more likely to have a chat and a laugh with – the girls on the till at Boots or your local shop owner? Who is more likely to care about you getting the right product a multiple retail employee or a local shop? They know that they have to provide the right service and the products whilst the multiple is able to fall back on advertising and price promotions
So a big hurrah for the cheerily named New Economics Foundation. I hope your report gets loads of publicity and re-ignites the debate about our fabulous independent retailers"