Could Small Business Saturday save our independent traders?

Bournemouth Echo: Le Da Da owner Christine Higgins welcomes the idea Le Da Da owner Christine Higgins welcomes the idea

TRADERS have welcomed calls to use a US initiative to encourage people to visit small shops brought to the UK.

Small Business Saturday, devised and sponsored by American Express, has taken place on the first weekend after Thanksgiving since 2010.

US figures show that consumers aware of the promotion, which is heavily plugged in social media and endorsed by a number of celebrities as well as President Barack Obama, spent £3.4billion in small shops on the day in 2012.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has now written to American Express to ask if they could bring the initiative to UK high streets as well.

The move has been praised by traders in Westbourne, who said small businesses need all the help they can get if they are to survive.

Christine Higgins, owner of La De Da, which has been open in the arcade for five weeks, said: “It’s difficult for small shops, with all the big department stores.

“The only thing the small shops can do really is try and offer something different. It’s no use trying to do something the same.

“All small businesses need help.”

Tracie Beardsley, owner of Fab Frocks, added: “I’ve certainly found since I’ve been part of the Coastal BID and other schemes where there have been incentives and things going on in Westbourne that’s really helped.

“So I would be all for anything like that. I think it’s a two-way thing – small businesses work very hard and there’s a lot of support for small businesses. But people say they support small businesses and that’s sometimes just lip service.

“We are quite a specialist shop and we find people will travel to us from London and from Ireland.”

Melanie Mogford, owner of Beach and Body, said independent businesses in particular needed extra help.

She said: “If it’s promoted well, if the nationals get behind it, I think it’s a really good idea.

“If it’s only dealt out in small pockets around the country it’s not going to have a lot of impact. In America they have it once a year, but if it was something like four times a year, once a season then it says in people’s minds.”

Ian Cracknell, owner of Workout of Westbourne, added that anything which got people through the doors would help.

He added: “It’s convenient for people to go to a department store, but there are different things to be had. I try and stock different brands to the mainstream. I have women-only brands that you don’t tend to find everywhere.

“It needs more publicity because the independents haven’t got the money to advertise.”

Comments (22)

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9:18am Mon 7 Jan 13

jobsworthwatch says...

It will only work if you ban the Internet!
It will only work if you ban the Internet! jobsworthwatch

9:39am Mon 7 Jan 13

pete woodley says...

I am positive that it is the internet that is mainly the reason for small shops closing down.Even us old pensioners can use it and save money,but it has its drawbacks,wrong sizes in clothes,non or slow delivery,defective items,poor customer service,etc.Another reason is the lack of thought by those who try to start up small businesses,some go mad on expensively sign written transport,dear advertising,over the top decor,and unfortunately a lot of young and disinterested junior staff,moral is take it easy,dont overspend before you are making a profit,personal attention,and keep over heads down.Remember there are a lot of greedy landlords around and rates are too high.
I am positive that it is the internet that is mainly the reason for small shops closing down.Even us old pensioners can use it and save money,but it has its drawbacks,wrong sizes in clothes,non or slow delivery,defective items,poor customer service,etc.Another reason is the lack of thought by those who try to start up small businesses,some go mad on expensively sign written transport,dear advertising,over the top decor,and unfortunately a lot of young and disinterested junior staff,moral is take it easy,dont overspend before you are making a profit,personal attention,and keep over heads down.Remember there are a lot of greedy landlords around and rates are too high. pete woodley

9:55am Mon 7 Jan 13

Jetwasher says...

Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin
g.com
Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin g.com Jetwasher

9:56am Mon 7 Jan 13

bourne free says...

jobsworthwatch wrote:
It will only work if you ban the Internet!
Its not only the internet . Peoples habits have become lazy so if you go to the large supermarkets its free easy parking, but if you go to any high street you can,t normally park close and then you have to pay and display !
[quote][p][bold]jobsworthwatch[/bold] wrote: It will only work if you ban the Internet![/p][/quote]Its not only the internet . Peoples habits have become lazy so if you go to the large supermarkets its free easy parking, but if you go to any high street you can,t normally park close and then you have to pay and display ! bourne free

9:57am Mon 7 Jan 13

Square Old Codger says...

I wouldn't think so, so many these days have little or no disposable income left after paying their bills. With prices of necessities, food and heat rising and incomes still falling and big cuts in benefits on their way, it will only get worse, all the indications are that we are back in to a recession, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Expect many retail outlets , including National businesses to be gone before the Autumn.
I wouldn't think so, so many these days have little or no disposable income left after paying their bills. With prices of necessities, food and heat rising and incomes still falling and big cuts in benefits on their way, it will only get worse, all the indications are that we are back in to a recession, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Expect many retail outlets , including National businesses to be gone before the Autumn. Square Old Codger

10:08am Mon 7 Jan 13

bobsworthforever says...

The main reason they cant compete is they are too expensive our local baker and butcher are more expensive than Waitrose.I love to support local businesses but im not a registered charity.As for the internet some of these businesses could buy their stock on the internet and still sell it cheaper than at the moment.Do sympathise with the business rents and rates however too expensive need capping i looked into opening a shop locally didnt get past the shop rental and rates financial suicide.
The main reason they cant compete is they are too expensive our local baker and butcher are more expensive than Waitrose.I love to support local businesses but im not a registered charity.As for the internet some of these businesses could buy their stock on the internet and still sell it cheaper than at the moment.Do sympathise with the business rents and rates however too expensive need capping i looked into opening a shop locally didnt get past the shop rental and rates financial suicide. bobsworthforever

10:24am Mon 7 Jan 13

wintonbusinessman says...

we don't need or want special days or concessions! only want a level playing field. Tax on line retailers per click (equivanlent to business rates) stop the parking charge rip off in OUR high streets, Tax the overseas retailers at source.
we don't need or want special days or concessions! only want a level playing field. Tax on line retailers per click (equivanlent to business rates) stop the parking charge rip off in OUR high streets, Tax the overseas retailers at source. wintonbusinessman

10:40am Mon 7 Jan 13

richt says...

I disagree with bobsworthforever's first sentence above.

Some good butchers do exist who offer much better quality, value and service than the supermarkets and who support local farming.
E.g. there is a really good one in Boscombe that I'd recommend for those reasons.
I disagree with bobsworthforever's first sentence above. Some good butchers do exist who offer much better quality, value and service than the supermarkets and who support local farming. E.g. there is a really good one in Boscombe that I'd recommend for those reasons. richt

10:44am Mon 7 Jan 13

speedy231278 says...

The trouble is that local rents and rates are enormous, and a small business simply cannot absorb them and keep prices really low. Coupled with the ever rising fuel prices and the local councils charging ever more for parking and painting more and more yellow lines everywhere to maximise parking fines, I mean revenue, it just puts people off. People have ever decreasing amounts of disposable income (and are probably saving as much as they can if they have half a brain), so expensive fuel, expensive parking and high prices are simply unsustainable. It's not the retailer's faults, but they will bear the brunt of it.
The trouble is that local rents and rates are enormous, and a small business simply cannot absorb them and keep prices really low. Coupled with the ever rising fuel prices and the local councils charging ever more for parking and painting more and more yellow lines everywhere to maximise parking fines, I mean revenue, it just puts people off. People have ever decreasing amounts of disposable income (and are probably saving as much as they can if they have half a brain), so expensive fuel, expensive parking and high prices are simply unsustainable. It's not the retailer's faults, but they will bear the brunt of it. speedy231278

10:48am Mon 7 Jan 13

speedy231278 says...

The only decent butcher I've found within miles of Bournemouth is the one at Wimborne. I try and avoid supermarket meat. It's bright red, laying in a pool of it's own juice, or on offer because it's going grey around the edges. If that butcher opened a similar shop near the Square, they'd make a killing (no pun intended). The middle of town has no butcher, no fishmonger, no fruit and veg shop. Just plenty of supermarkets with forced vegetables, pumped up and poorly aged meat, and a single fruit and veg stall that's not guaranteed to be open. Oh, and about 20 coffee shops!
The only decent butcher I've found within miles of Bournemouth is the one at Wimborne. I try and avoid supermarket meat. It's bright red, laying in a pool of it's own juice, or on offer because it's going grey around the edges. If that butcher opened a similar shop near the Square, they'd make a killing (no pun intended). The middle of town has no butcher, no fishmonger, no fruit and veg shop. Just plenty of supermarkets with forced vegetables, pumped up and poorly aged meat, and a single fruit and veg stall that's not guaranteed to be open. Oh, and about 20 coffee shops! speedy231278

10:55am Mon 7 Jan 13

HRH of Boscombe says...

bourne free wrote:
jobsworthwatch wrote: It will only work if you ban the Internet!
Its not only the internet . Peoples habits have become lazy so if you go to the large supermarkets its free easy parking, but if you go to any high street you can,t normally park close and then you have to pay and display !
I'm all for local Butchers and Green Grocers but I think a lot of these small shops are selfish and ignorant.
.
Big supermarkets are profit driven and look at what customers want and products that move. It frustrates me to here about small shops moaning because they're not selling out of 18th century lampshades everyday.
.
Look at what the local community wants and needs. Bric a brac tat is not it.
[quote][p][bold]bourne free[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jobsworthwatch[/bold] wrote: It will only work if you ban the Internet![/p][/quote]Its not only the internet . Peoples habits have become lazy so if you go to the large supermarkets its free easy parking, but if you go to any high street you can,t normally park close and then you have to pay and display ![/p][/quote]I'm all for local Butchers and Green Grocers but I think a lot of these small shops are selfish and ignorant. . Big supermarkets are profit driven and look at what customers want and products that move. It frustrates me to here about small shops moaning because they're not selling out of 18th century lampshades everyday. . Look at what the local community wants and needs. Bric a brac tat is not it. HRH of Boscombe

11:15am Mon 7 Jan 13

CourtOffside says...

wintonbusinessman wrote:
we don't need or want special days or concessions! only want a level playing field. Tax on line retailers per click (equivanlent to business rates) stop the parking charge rip off in OUR high streets, Tax the overseas retailers at source.
I'd support small retailers having reduced business rates, paid for by hiking those for multiples.. and I agree that car parking needs to be free to get people to go to high streets - however taxing online retailers is not a good idea at all. It's bad for consumers, bad for the growth in the economy which is coming from people setting up their own online small businesses with very little red tape - and it won't help the high street. We're heading for more online retail, not less - regardless of how much the government takes from each purchase from online retailers.

The high street has to up its game - if it can't compete on price, it has to do it on service and experience. You can't go on doing the same things that have been done in the past and expect them to work now... give people a reason to go out to the shops.. not reasons to stay at home.

Get online as well and offer everything you do now to a wider market through the web - and use the physical presence you have as an advantage in the online world too. You can offer things other online competitors cannot - somewhere to collect orders from and return them to for example..
[quote][p][bold]wintonbusinessman[/bold] wrote: we don't need or want special days or concessions! only want a level playing field. Tax on line retailers per click (equivanlent to business rates) stop the parking charge rip off in OUR high streets, Tax the overseas retailers at source.[/p][/quote]I'd support small retailers having reduced business rates, paid for by hiking those for multiples.. and I agree that car parking needs to be free to get people to go to high streets - however taxing online retailers is not a good idea at all. It's bad for consumers, bad for the growth in the economy which is coming from people setting up their own online small businesses with very little red tape - and it won't help the high street. We're heading for more online retail, not less - regardless of how much the government takes from each purchase from online retailers. The high street has to up its game - if it can't compete on price, it has to do it on service and experience. You can't go on doing the same things that have been done in the past and expect them to work now... give people a reason to go out to the shops.. not reasons to stay at home. Get online as well and offer everything you do now to a wider market through the web - and use the physical presence you have as an advantage in the online world too. You can offer things other online competitors cannot - somewhere to collect orders from and return them to for example.. CourtOffside

11:49am Mon 7 Jan 13

BmthNewshound says...

Its so easy to blame the internet for the demise of small independent retailers. Some of the UK’s most successful retailers don’t trade on the internet – Primark, Aldi and Lidl don’t allow customers to buy online but have all seen significant growth over recent years.
.
There is evidence that specialist retailers who have superior product knowledge and offer a higher standard of service are doing well especially when combining their high street shop with an online shop. Independent retailers have to accept that they must work harder to entice shoppers. Simply having a Small Business Saturday campaign won’t work unless people enjoy a pleasant shopping experience and feel that the independent retailers in their area offer something that they simply can’t get by hopping into the car and driving to Castlepoint. At the end of the day local people will only support local shops if they are worth supporting – and many are not.
.
Westbourne has certainly suffered since the closure of Waitrose. I live locally and often pop in for coffee or something to eat but as for shopping, apart from M&S Simply Food and Cook (where just before Christmas I was welcomed with a smile and a glass of mulled wine) , don’t often use the shops. The Arcade is now dominated by shops selling overpriced “Made in China” tat spilling out of the shops into the Arcade walkway causing a safety hazard. The deli used to be good but now has a food hygiene rating of 1/5 (major improvements required) so is now avoided. There are a growing number of charity shops and coffee shops and less and less speciality retailers. A lot of the shop assistants/owners are grumpy and not at all engaging so why should I support them ?
.
Its not all down to poor and indifferent retailers. The biggest issue is cost, high rents and business rates mean that its almost impossible to make a decent living running a small independent shop. Why risk your own money when you can earn more shelf stacking at Tesco’s than you can by running your own shop ?.
Its so easy to blame the internet for the demise of small independent retailers. Some of the UK’s most successful retailers don’t trade on the internet – Primark, Aldi and Lidl don’t allow customers to buy online but have all seen significant growth over recent years. . There is evidence that specialist retailers who have superior product knowledge and offer a higher standard of service are doing well especially when combining their high street shop with an online shop. Independent retailers have to accept that they must work harder to entice shoppers. Simply having a Small Business Saturday campaign won’t work unless people enjoy a pleasant shopping experience and feel that the independent retailers in their area offer something that they simply can’t get by hopping into the car and driving to Castlepoint. At the end of the day local people will only support local shops if they are worth supporting – and many are not. . Westbourne has certainly suffered since the closure of Waitrose. I live locally and often pop in for coffee or something to eat but as for shopping, apart from M&S Simply Food and Cook (where just before Christmas I was welcomed with a smile and a glass of mulled wine) , don’t often use the shops. The Arcade is now dominated by shops selling overpriced “Made in China” tat spilling out of the shops into the Arcade walkway causing a safety hazard. The deli used to be good but now has a food hygiene rating of 1/5 (major improvements required) so is now avoided. There are a growing number of charity shops and coffee shops and less and less speciality retailers. A lot of the shop assistants/owners are grumpy and not at all engaging so why should I support them ? . Its not all down to poor and indifferent retailers. The biggest issue is cost, high rents and business rates mean that its almost impossible to make a decent living running a small independent shop. Why risk your own money when you can earn more shelf stacking at Tesco’s than you can by running your own shop ?. BmthNewshound

12:26pm Mon 7 Jan 13

richt says...

speedy231278 wrote:
The only decent butcher I've found within miles of Bournemouth is the one at Wimborne. I try and avoid supermarket meat. It's bright red, laying in a pool of it's own juice, or on offer because it's going grey around the edges. If that butcher opened a similar shop near the Square, they'd make a killing (no pun intended). The middle of town has no butcher, no fishmonger, no fruit and veg shop. Just plenty of supermarkets with forced vegetables, pumped up and poorly aged meat, and a single fruit and veg stall that's not guaranteed to be open. Oh, and about 20 coffee shops!
I agree there's a serious lack of independent food traders in central Bournemouth and too much emphasis on cafes (and on chain stores).

It would have been great to have a permanent indoor market with things like that, instead of the Tesco Metro in the old Borders store.

speedy231278, have you tried Boscombe or Westbourne for good quality independent food retailers?
[quote][p][bold]speedy231278[/bold] wrote: The only decent butcher I've found within miles of Bournemouth is the one at Wimborne. I try and avoid supermarket meat. It's bright red, laying in a pool of it's own juice, or on offer because it's going grey around the edges. If that butcher opened a similar shop near the Square, they'd make a killing (no pun intended). The middle of town has no butcher, no fishmonger, no fruit and veg shop. Just plenty of supermarkets with forced vegetables, pumped up and poorly aged meat, and a single fruit and veg stall that's not guaranteed to be open. Oh, and about 20 coffee shops![/p][/quote]I agree there's a serious lack of independent food traders in central Bournemouth and too much emphasis on cafes (and on chain stores). It would have been great to have a permanent indoor market with things like that, instead of the Tesco Metro in the old Borders store. speedy231278, have you tried Boscombe or Westbourne for good quality independent food retailers? richt

12:53pm Mon 7 Jan 13

BmthNewshound says...

richt - agree with your comment in respect of indoor market in Bournemouth - or even a regular traditional market.
.
High start up costs are a barrier to new independents and lower cost market stalls offer a good way to get your business of the ground.
.
In Loughborough the twice weekly traditional market is really popular and the local shops, a mix of national chains and independents, benefit from the influx of shoppers.
.
Nigel Hedges, president of the BCCI who claims to speak on behalf of Bournemouth retailers, was quoted in the Echo last year as being against the idea of a regular market.
.
The Council originally planned to used the Triangle for markets but apart from a half hearted attempt at a produce market, this hasn't happened.
richt - agree with your comment in respect of indoor market in Bournemouth - or even a regular traditional market. . High start up costs are a barrier to new independents and lower cost market stalls offer a good way to get your business of the ground. . In Loughborough the twice weekly traditional market is really popular and the local shops, a mix of national chains and independents, benefit from the influx of shoppers. . Nigel Hedges, president of the BCCI who claims to speak on behalf of Bournemouth retailers, was quoted in the Echo last year as being against the idea of a regular market. . The Council originally planned to used the Triangle for markets but apart from a half hearted attempt at a produce market, this hasn't happened. BmthNewshound

1:17pm Mon 7 Jan 13

BournemouthMum says...

Jetwasher wrote:
Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin

g.com
I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy.
[quote][p][bold]Jetwasher[/bold] wrote: Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin g.com[/p][/quote]I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy. BournemouthMum

3:57pm Mon 7 Jan 13

benjamin says...

As long as Town Councils continue to use town centre car parks as an easy way of raising money, small town centre shops will continue to suffer.
There is also unfair competition from the multitude of charity shops. Many of these now sell new merchandise, yet are exempt from business rate and staffed by unpait voluteers.
As long as Town Councils continue to use town centre car parks as an easy way of raising money, small town centre shops will continue to suffer. There is also unfair competition from the multitude of charity shops. Many of these now sell new merchandise, yet are exempt from business rate and staffed by unpait voluteers. benjamin

4:14pm Mon 7 Jan 13

pete woodley says...

A lot of goods sold in charity shops are not cheap,but are bought because people think they are helping a charity,a lot of these shops do use volunteers but usually those at the top are very well paid.
A lot of goods sold in charity shops are not cheap,but are bought because people think they are helping a charity,a lot of these shops do use volunteers but usually those at the top are very well paid. pete woodley

4:15pm Mon 7 Jan 13

pete woodley says...

A lot of goods sold in charity shops are not cheap,but are bought because people think they are helping a charity,a lot of these shops do use volunteers but usually those at the top are very well paid.
A lot of goods sold in charity shops are not cheap,but are bought because people think they are helping a charity,a lot of these shops do use volunteers but usually those at the top are very well paid. pete woodley

6:05pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Jetwasher says...

BournemouthMum wrote:
Jetwasher wrote:
Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin


g.com
I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy.
Indeed every business needs to have some sort of online content i totally agree , Could you get in contact via website please bournemouth mum, am looking for a quote on some extra SEO work to be done , Thanks
[quote][p][bold]BournemouthMum[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jetwasher[/bold] wrote: Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin g.com[/p][/quote]I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy.[/p][/quote]Indeed every business needs to have some sort of online content i totally agree , Could you get in contact via website please bournemouth mum, am looking for a quote on some extra SEO work to be done , Thanks Jetwasher

9:18am Tue 8 Jan 13

l'anglais says...

BournemouthMum wrote:
Jetwasher wrote:
Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin


g.com
I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy.
Why not market and create a web site for the entire High Street.
Create a virtual shopping experience that replicates the geographical locations of the High Street.

Maybe the individual shops could then organise a combined delivery and returns service.
[quote][p][bold]BournemouthMum[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jetwasher[/bold] wrote: Good idea,what about small business mondays ? ll throw my ticket into the hat here is mines bournemouthjetwashin g.com[/p][/quote]I have a web design & online marketing business and whenever I have contacted these small local businesses (without even a website) offering them help with a website or online marketing, social media & SEO services they say they are not interested and they are doing fine without, because they are too ignorant to see the benefits. So it serves them right if they get left behind and don't get any customers. I've no sympathy.[/p][/quote]Why not market and create a web site for the entire High Street. Create a virtual shopping experience that replicates the geographical locations of the High Street. Maybe the individual shops could then organise a combined delivery and returns service. l'anglais

1:39pm Tue 8 Jan 13

kingstonpaul says...

Local shops need shoppers. Statement of the bleedin’ obvious. And like it or not, many/most shoppers want to get to the shops in their (cue outrage from the anti-car zealots, but nothing is going to change that trend…). So when the local council imposes a draconian parking regime, it acts as a major disincentive. Westbourne is still a decent neighbourhood amenity, not just shops but some good eateries and bars. But I can’t think of one area within a half-mile radius of Westbourne that isn’t controlled parking. This is the main blockage for local retailers.
But I do have a concern that Westbourne is now beginning to suffer the scourge of so many high-streets, with the insidious creep of big chains (Tesco, M&S, Costa, Starbucks, Café Rouge, M&S, Subway, Hogshead all available in Westbourne). This sucks the variety out of local centres, creating a bland landscape of familiar shops looking like every other shopping street.
Local shops need shoppers. Statement of the bleedin’ obvious. And like it or not, many/most shoppers want to get to the shops in their (cue outrage from the anti-car zealots, but nothing is going to change that trend…). So when the local council imposes a draconian parking regime, it acts as a major disincentive. Westbourne is still a decent neighbourhood amenity, not just shops but some good eateries and bars. But I can’t think of one area within a half-mile radius of Westbourne that isn’t controlled parking. This is the main blockage for local retailers. But I do have a concern that Westbourne is now beginning to suffer the scourge of so many high-streets, with the insidious creep of big chains (Tesco, M&S, Costa, Starbucks, Café Rouge, M&S, Subway, Hogshead all available in Westbourne). This sucks the variety out of local centres, creating a bland landscape of familiar shops looking like every other shopping street. kingstonpaul

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