A celebration of independent brick-and-mortar stores
On the 27th of October 2023, we celebrated the first Shop Indie Day. The idea originated less than 2 weeks prior, and it turned out to be a super fun and rewarding day.
This year has been particularly tough for physical retail. Therefore, Beck, owner of Prior, an award-winning independent shop in central Bristol, and I wanted to come up with a way to use our collective voices to raise the volume for independent brick-and-mortar retailers.
That’s how Shop Indie Day came about. It is a one-day-long Instagram campaign to celebrate independent brick-and-mortar stores, a virtual flash mob, if you will.
Why are we so passionate about independent physical retail?
The best way to explain it is to quote the amazing Mary Portas, “Independent shops are the future of the high streets”. I genuinely believe this to be true.
Brick-and-mortar retailers help bring our communities to life, create a meeting point where we can be inspired, and find hidden treasures. They are a source of creativity, and the key to keeping our villages, towns and cities vibrant.
We must continue to support them because if we don't, we risk losing them.
To me, this is when the betting and vape shops take over, and people are pushed to visit retail parks or other towns instead. When that happens, towns become places we travel through rather than destinations to visit and this in turn, leads to less money being spent in those places, which leads to a whole bunch of other problems.
What happened on Shop Indie Day?
One hundred and forty or so businesses posted collaboration posts or tagged the newly created Shop Indie Day Instagram account. Many more shared their stories and used the hashtag #shopindieday, and the Shop Indie Day stickers donated by Grace Jackson Design.
The account went from zero followers to four hundred and fifty-six. And the reels and posts are still getting engagement five days later.
In total, I think it’s safe to say that the campaign reached over 103,000 people.
Below, I’ve done a little fun summary of the reels posted. You can view them all, over on the Shop Indie Day Instagram page.
So, what’s next?
I definitely want to keep this going. And make plans to make it a bigger and even louder thing next year. But for now, I’ve decided to ask a few independent retailers to do a week-long take-over of the account.
To keep this simple, this will done with collaboration posts, and it will run from Monday to Sunday. We will try this until Christmas, and then evaluate.
Please continue to engage with the Shop Indie Day account, like and comment on the retailer's posts and let’s see how it goes.