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It’s July, and that means it’s Independent Retailer Month. The annual campaign encourages communities to support their local businesses, pointing out that each dollar spent at a local business creates value for the whole community. Your store can build promotions around the campaign; postcards, posters and other materials are available at And organizers offer this activity idea bank to get you started.

Bonus buck: Give customers a $1 coupon for every $10 they spend in your store in July. The coupon is redeemable in August.

Happy hour: Offer red, white and blue cookies or cupcakes with refreshments to promote the “independence” theme.

Badges: Create campaign buttons for your staff to wear with the message: “Proud to be independent.”

Meet and greet: Invite your customers to meet dance brand reps at your store.

Beauty treats: Team up with an independent salon/spa in your community and offer customers in-store pampering.

Goodie bags: Give with certain purchases or to new customers.

Community talent: Support local dancers by hosting a joint in-store activity.

Run a contest: Offer the chance for one lucky winner and friends to have a private shopping party.

Shopping Crawl: Team up with neighboring independent retailers to host a shopping crawl, providing a map and prizes for participants.

Drop and shop: Invite customers to donate lightly worn clothing/shoes in-store for a local cause, such as Dress for Success and, in return, receive an exclusive in-store deal that day.

Charity giving: Offer to make a donation of 10 percent of a customer’s purchase to a local community charity.

Check-in deals: Offer every shopper who “checks in” or tags your store on social media an exclusive in-store promotion.

Online coupons: Offer exclusive promotions on your website that are redeemable in-store only.

Happy Independence Day—and month!

Don’t miss…how retailers decide what merchandise goes where for the best sales (see “Perfect Floor Plans”) and how targeted markdowns can make your business healthier. Stocking shelves? You’ll find four pages of new arrivals. Check out the bold dress-code basics. And learn what leggings high-school dancers like best.

July 2018

Photo by Nathan Sayers

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