The Independent Retailer Month is a shop local campaign that runs annually throughout July encouraging consumers to shop at independent retailers; highlighting their positive social and economic impact – locally, nationally and globally.
We encourage people to shop independent retail year round and to use July as a time to celebrate the independent retailers that help build our economy; creating more sustainable cities, towns, and communities.
By engaging independent retailer associations, small business organizations and retail thought leaders we aim to demonstrate the importance of shopping independent.
Independent Retailer Month was born from the collaboration of two very different individuals who share a common desire to celebrate independent retailers around the globe.
In 2003 Tom Shay, principal of Profits Plus, created a holiday, ‘National Independent Retailer Week‘, to show retailers how they could create celebrations for their communities, industries and own businesses.
In 2009 Kerry Bannigan, Co-Founder of Nolcha, launched ‘Independent Retail Week’, a week-long, city-wide, shopping extravaganza in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Jersey advancing the business of independent fashion retailers. This initiative worked with over 400 retailers, garnered support from the city’s tourism boards, chambers of commerce and Mayor’s office; with features on NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS.
In 2011 discussions began between Bannigan and Shay as they wanted to be inclusive of everyone that had some form of recognition for independent retailing. July 2011 Independent Retailer Month USA was born highlighting the important role local merchant’s play in the community, economy and overall retail sector.
The same year the Independent Retailer Month campaign expanded to the United Kingdom led by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion.
Today Independent Retailer Month encourages consumers to celebrate the independent retailers that are the backbone of our communities and engages independent retailer associations and local officials to promote shop local campaigns.
According to the SBA, since 1990, big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million jobs.
Also, if every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.