Small Business Saturday urges shoppers to ‘buy local’
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As the event dedicated to shopping small celebrates its 10th birthday in the UK, a mixed picture of grassroots retail has emerged from the survey of businesses commissioned by the campaign and its main backer American Express.
While 80 per cent of shoppers are cutting back, bargaining is becoming commonplace with 53 per cent businesses finding customers keen to negotiate.
On the upside, more sales are being picked up because the wait for international deliveries is putting off 60 per cent of buyers. There’s a strong sense of community too with most businesses saying they actively try to work with other local independents.
And given the economic pressures, innovation and ways to attract new customers are on the minds of more than half of traders now.
Dan Edelman, UK Merchant Services general manager at American Express said:
“Over the past 10 years, Small Business Saturday has galvanised support for independent businesses and the huge contribution they make to local communities. As founder and principal supporter, American Express is proud of our long-standing support of the campaign and championing of the high street, which is more vital than ever given the challenging times small businesses face.
“Our latest research found those in hospitality particularly impacted by current economic pressures, so it’s vital to keep encouraging consumers to shop small and show their support next weekend and beyond.”
Emeka Frederick runs Chuku’s, a Nigerian tapas restaurant in Tottenham, north London with his sister Ifeyinwa. They launched a bid to get 600 bookings in six weeks and managed it four days.
“Our restaurant has been on such a rollercoaster since we opened, with a pandemic forcing us to close just five weeks after opening,” they said.
“Our first three years have been incredibly tough. With the high streets not returning to pre-pandemic levels – while the cost of everything goes up – we have been struggling to keep our doors open.
“To help us get through into 2023, we leant on our amazing Chuku’s community, launching a campaign to get 600 bookings in six weeks. The reception has been astonishing, with news of our campaign going viral and beyond the UK to the likes of Nigeria and the USA. We’re so grateful for the fantastic support we’ve received so far but there’s still a long way to go for us.
“Our restaurant celebrates the best of Nigerian cuisine and culture 52 weeks of the year, so we’re encouraging guests to choose Chuku’s as their dining spot not just over the next six weeks but into Christmas, January and beyond. Community support is the lifeblood of small businesses. It holds a lot of power.”
“This vital part of the economy urgently needs support from all angles,” declared Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK.
“While consumers are understandably watching every penny at the moment, we are urging people to think about how they can support their much-loved small firms wherever possible, as this can have such a tremendously positive impact across our local communities too.”
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