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Thousands of retailers celebrate Independents' Day

Thousands of retailers across the UK celebrated the Independents' Day campaign yesterday in which the public were encouraged to buy at least one item from independent shops.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Thousands of retailers celebrate Independents' Day

Thousands of retailers across the UK celebrated the Independents' Day campaign yesterday in which the public were encouraged to buy at least one item from independent shops.

While Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his support for the day, MPs Matthew Hancock, Chuka Umunna and David Lammy joined the campaign trail across London.

Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock addressed small businesses in Waterloo Business Improvement District yesterday afternoon, while Chuka Umunna and David Lammy visited independent shops in Streatham and Tottenham.

Speaking at the Waterloo BID Independents’ Day event Hancock said: “I think Independents’ Day is a great chance to celebrate independents. Run by the National Skills Academy for Retail, it happens across the country and it’s a day for everybody to go and buy something from an independent.”

Independent retailers from across the UK came together to support the campaign. Towns and retailers put on a range of special events and promotions, including themed window displays, high street festivities and special offers.

The National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops has been supporting activities to promote their work in helping independent retailers to become more profitable. Through the campaign, funding has been made available to independent retailers with fewer than 250 employees to enable them to access specialist  training and mentoring.

Yesterday the National Skills Academy for Retail visited four London locations taking part in the campaign in Streatham, Wimbledon, Waterloo and Tottenham.

Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail said: “We have been amazed at how many small businesses and locations across the UK have taken part in this year’s campaign, which has gone from strength to strength over the last three years. This year we are able to support small retailers in accessing government funding for training and mentoring they might not otherwise be able to afford though the National Skills Academy for Retail.”

The campaign, now in its third year, champions diversity on the high street and recognises the skills behind the shop front.

This year, the National Skills Academy for Retail joined forces with the Independent Retailer Month campaign and 13 trade associations supporting the Independents’ Day campaign, including British Independent Retailers Association, National Association of Goldsmiths, Entertainment Retailers Association, and Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association.

Mondelez International has also sponsored the campaign competition for independent retailers to win free business training and mentoring.

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