‘Civic duty to support local traders on Independents Day’ – NIIRTA
With today being Independents Day the business organisation representing local traders has urged the whole community to make a supreme effort to buy at least one item in a local independent retailer in a bid to keep small shops alive.
The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has urged local consumers to make it their ‘civic duty’ to support independent retailers otherwise the increasing trend of shop closures will grow.
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said, “Independent Retailers make a fantastic contribution not just to our economy, but to our local communities, town centres and are the route to market for local farmers and producers.
“To local shoppers it should be your civic duty to give that little bit of support to independent traders today. Northern Ireland has not just the worst shop vacancy rate in the UK, but twice the national average with nearly 1 in 4 shops empty.
“In recent years over 3000 local traders have sadly closed their doors as a result of bad planning policy, recession and many other reasons. Sadly if consumers do not support local traders it will be case of ‘use them or lose them’,” Roberts insisted.
“Independent Retailers must continue to offer something different to the multiples, ensure world class customer service and embrace online as an opportunity, not as a threat. They also need to be the change makers in 21st century town centres.
“NIIRTA has published its Fifty Point Policy Plan Town Centre First and will continue to bring solutions to the Executive to tackle the challenges facing independent retailers and town centre,” he added.
Theo Paphitis, long time star of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, Chairman of Ryman Stationery and Robert Dyas and founder of the lingerie brand Boux Avenue said, “I am supporting this year’s Independents’ Day campaign as I believe that independent businesses have a vital role to play in our economy.
“This campaign celebrates the drive, commitment, enthusiasm and passion that most small retailers possess, and need, to make it in retail, as well as the contribution they make to local communities in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.
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