Celebrate an independent Christmas

Pictures Martin Bostock.'Lytham is only UK town participating in "town" section of the International In Bloom.' View of the Piazza.
Pictures Martin Bostock.'Lytham is only UK town participating in "town" section of the International In Bloom.' View of the Piazza.
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LYTHAM’S traders and The Express have launched an independent shopping crawl for Christmas.

The Celebrate an Independent Christmas Campaign crawl features 30 of the best independent traders in the area – and is designed to get shoppers into all of them.

To take part, simply take the map, distributed with The Express this week and next, into each of the traders to get it stamped. When complete, send the crawl map to us on the address on the final page, and we’ll enter you into a grand prize draw with some stunning prizes from the traders.

The winner will receive £1,000 worth of cash, vouchers and gifts, and five lucky runners-up will receive £100 worth of prizes.

And everyone taking part will visit some wonderful shops along the way.

The Christmas campaign aims to improve footfall on high streets, towns and village centres, to increase consumer confidence, and to boost retail sales at the all-important Christmas period.

Focused on connecting consumers with local, independent retailers, the wider campaign has managed to capture the imaginations of more than 40 towns and retail centres UK-wide.

The shopping crawls, or trails as some are being called, will start on different dates in each of the participating areas. Consumers collect a map of the crawl, visit each of the listed stores, discovering retailers they may have overlooked in their routine shopping trips.

The “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign is the brain-child of retail expert, Clare Rayner, the retail champion who also leads Independent Retailer Month in the UK.

She said: “Christmas shopping crawls are intended to be a lot of fun for consumers, however, for independent retailers activities like these can really boost their footfall and sales. Christmas is the most important time of year for all retailers, some sectors achieve 60 per cent of their annual profit in the last six weeks before Christmas!

“If we, as consumers, don’t want to lose even more of our local, independent businesses then we need to support them! A campaign like this achieves that but also makes it fun for those involved.”

The campaign urges consumers to spend a proportion of their Christmas budgets – be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering – with local, independent businesses and all those who serve consumers including bars, restaurants and salons as well as traditional shops.

In many towns shoppers will be given a “thank-you” card, that thanks them for their custom and explains the value of their £1 spent locally – an important feature of the campaign is about ensuring consumers understand the impact they can have even if they only make small adjustments to their routine shopping habits.