INDEPENDENT shops in Chichester have been challenged to prove they are better than chain stores.
The city centre partnership has announced 133 independent traders in Chichester are taking part in this year’s Independents’ Day celebrations – a rise of 23 on last year.
“Our independent shops and businesses are what make this city different as a shopping and commercial destination, so initiatives like this are important,” said Andrew Finnamore, chairman of the partnership.
“We’re pleased that 133 independent outlets have stepped up to join in, but it’s about more than just bunting.
“This is an opportunity for the businesses to show what they’ve got – why should people use them instead of the chain stores?
“More often than not, they can offer better product knowledge and a more personal service and this is their chance to prove it.”
The national campaign to support independent shops runs for a week from Saturday, with it anchored around next Friday, July 4.
The partnership said bunting orders for the week reached 1,500m and 1,000 balloons and 200 posters were being distributed across the 133 traders taking part.
Many of the businesses are running promotions and events throughout the week, especially next Friday, to remind visitors and shoppers what the smaller stores can offer them.
Chichester District Council also backed the campaign.
“For every £1 you spend with a local, independent business, between 50p and 70p circulates back into the local economy,” said Myles Cullen, cabinet member for commercial services
“In comparison, for every £1 you spend online, only 5p circulates back into the local economy.
“Shopping locally supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. By shopping locally, you are helping to keep your high street, town or village centre, open for business – while also saving on fuel costs. We want to encourage people within the district to rediscover what’s on their doorsteps and support local businesses.”
Chichester’s Farmers’ Market is also celebrating its independent traders on the day, selling food from across the county.
This will take place in North and East Street from 9am until 2pm.