Hornsey amp; Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone dropped in on her local Londis to help launch Independents Day on July 4.
Alpesh and Bimal Patel’s store in Crouch End, London is flying the flag for local retailers and supporting diversity on the high street.
Independents Day, organised by Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail, champions the local retailers who make the UK’s villages, towns and cities so special. My Shop is Your Shop is supporting this scheme and has encouraged retailers to use the publicity around the day to celebrate their independence.
The campaign invites the public to buy at least one item on the day from their local, independent shop.
Alpesh and Bimal have Independents’ Day posters in their windows and even on their automatic sliding door, so that it’s the first thing customers see when they enter the shop.
Bimal said: “It’s so good to see schemes like this, because it makes us remember that we aren’t being forgotten and that there are other people fighting for us. The play on words is clever and gives the public a hook to capture their imagination; we’ve been talking to all our customers about this and hope that word of mouth brings more people in store.”
The store is continually adapting to the needs of its customers and is soon to be opening a coffee shop as an extra service to the community.
Lynne Featherstone, who presented Alpesh and Bimal with a My Shop is Your Shop Gold Award for Community Retailing last year, re-visited the store to talk about the initiative and see how they are faring one year on.
“Independent retailers like Alpesh and Bimal have to face a lot of battles, so Independents’ Day is a great way to encourage the public to support their local shop,” she said. “It’s shopkeepers like them who really care about their community and without them, our high streets would be all the poorer. There’s always something retailers can do to improve; and I’m sure once the coffee shop has opened, Alpesh and Bimal will be even more successful.”