Gifts Today magazine

Ring out those festive bells for an independent Christmas

Independent retailers launch shopping challenge next month

The UK’s independent retailers are hoping to entice Christmas consumers with a shopping challenge over the next month, as part of the Celebrate an Independent Christmas campaign.

It is hoped that the campaign’s efforts will boost consumer awareness of local independents, as well as offering some festive family fun.

The Christmas Shopping Challenge invites consumers to decorate a Christmas tree by collecting bauble stickers from various participating independent retailers. Once they’ve collected their stickers, they win a Christmas treat – and, in some areas, can even be entered into a festive prize draw.

The challenge is designed to run throughout the Christmas shopping period, although some towns may choose to extend the competition until New Year’s Eve. As an added bonus, the campaign coincides with and heightens the impact of other initiatives such as Small Business Saturday.

‘As footfall on the UK’s high streets continues to drop, independent retailers need to do everything they can to keep shoppers coming into town,’ says Clare Rayner, the founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign.

‘Like all of our campaign events, Celebrate an Independent Christmas is all about collaboration between businesses. By working together, independent retailers can remind their local communities that it’s no secret how unique, friendly and fun the high street can be at Christmas time.’

Although consumers don’t need 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.

Areas getting into the Independent Christmas spirit this year include Buxton Spa, Hertford, Huntingdon, Didsbury and Sidmouth. A full list and more information can be found at

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