Keeping it local for Independents’ Day

Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey helps launch Independents' Day with Translink CEO Chris Conway, left, and Retail NI chief Glyn Roberts
Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey helps launch Independents' Day with Translink CEO Chris Conway, left, and Retail NI chief Glyn Roberts

‘Keeping things local’ is important to consumers in Northern Ireland according to research from the business organisation Retail NI ahead of a province-wide day of support for local retailers.

The group which represents the independent retail and wholesale sector, said 59% of consumers surveyed used their local stores for a basket food top-up shop up to three times a week.

It also revealed that almost three quarters (71%) spent between £20 and £500 on a single visit to local, independently owned stores.

The research comes as the organisation launches its annual Independents’ Day campaign for 2018, encouraging consumers to make the most of their town centres not just on the 04 July, but all year round.

The research, carried out by Perceptive Insight last month, also revealed the biggest deciding factor for visiting an independent store was to support local businesses (62%) as well as better customer service (32%) and the convenience of local shops (36%).

“Locality is central to our shopping habits throughout Northern Ireland,” said Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts.

“Whether this is a preference for locally sourced fresh food or supporting local stores to ensure their money stays in our economy, keeping things local is clearly important to the consumer, as our new research shows.

“At Retail NI, we work with thousands of members from local shopping towns throughout Northern Ireland to ensure great relationships between stores and their local councils and chambers, making our vibrant town centres desirable shopping destinations.

“Independents’ Day is a unique chance for us to highlight that work and the great calibre of food, fashion, convenience, gift and niche stores throughout Northern Ireland.”

Partners for the event include Translink whose CEO Chris Conway said: “We’re encouraging shoppers to use public transport on Independents’ Day and enjoy a range of summer discount bus and train tickets for great value and convenient journeys right across Northern Ireland.

“Independent retailers play a vital role in the community and in supporting our economy so we’re encouraging our passengers to buy local and enjoy that more ‘personal touch’ during their shopping experience.”