Independent Retailer Month: The heart of indie retail

By Candy Washington 

Looking for innovative ways to expand your business and find meaningful relationships with the fashion community? Then look no further than the Independent Retailer Month. Read below for our exclusive interview with this community conscious fashion organization.

Can you please tell our readers the overall concept of Independent Retailer Month?

Independent Retailer Month, July 2011, is a global campaign to celebrate the importance of independent retailers in the community, the economy and the overall retail sector mix. It is a time to encourage, engage and inspire independent retailers. Independent Retailer Month is a campaign to highlight the important role independent retailers play within the retail sector as a whole.

What are some ways in which Independent Retailer Month connects with and helps fashion retailers?

Independent Retailer Month connects with fashion retailers by working with industry resources like yourself as well as, one of the co-founders, social media and newsletters. The month long initiative helps fashion retailers as it gives them motivation to join in the celebration as well as ideas to gain awareness, new clientele and increase sales among their community. In addition we are working with to do a specific promotion for independent fashion boutiques. Interested stores can read here:

How long have you guys been in business and how did it come about?

In 2009 Kerry Bannigan, CEO Nolcha, originally devised a plan to advance the business of independent fashion retailers via a weeklong city wide shopping extravaganza in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. The team created initiatives and programs to promote local fashion boutiques to help grow their brands, as well as encourage the city to buy local. In 2010 opened the concept to all independent retail businesses in the town and this intrigued Bannigan to explore beyond fashion retail.

In 2003, Tom Shay, principal of Profits Plus, created a holiday, ‘Independent Retailer Week’ to show retailers how they could create celebrations for their communities, industries and own businesses. Each year Shay added another component to the event as he gathered ideas from those retailers, associations and groups that joined in the promotion.

Discussions began between Bannigan and Shay as they wanted to focus on all independent retailing, regardless of what products they sold. They also wanted to include the manufacturers, wholesalers who are providers of products and services to these independent retailers. As they found other organizations that had a celebration with the same focus of independent retailing, they noticed most held their event during the month of July. Bannigan and Shay wanted to be inclusive of everyone that had some form of recognition for independent retailing in the hope that Independent Retailer Month would be become the umbrella for all. Hence, what was a week for each of these two individuals and their groups became a month for everyone.

Idea Bank seems like an awesome resource for those of us in the fashion industry, can you please us more about it?

Absolutely. This is a resource that we add to on an ongoing basis as well as welcome ideas from others, it is a place to inspire ideas in retailers create promotions, events and outreach to support their participation in Independent Retailer Month.

What are some up-and-coming events and resources?

There is a range of activity from community shopping crawls, to brand meet and greets to fashion shows, pop up stores and more. Make sure to visit to stay up to date on activities and events.

What are some ways in which retailers can get involved?

Firstly download the logo and place it in the store window front, newsletters and/or website. Contact the local media and tell them about this for their community. Gather customers together for an exclusive evening. There are so many ways to get involved, and only each retailer knows what is best suited to their clientele.

Anything else you would like to share about Independent Retailer Month?

Make sure to spread the word, get involved and celebrate with us. Visit for more information.


Organizations/Chambers/Main Street Programs: Tom Shay: 888-529-5907 or 727-823-7205 |
Media Inquiries & Partners: Kerry Bannigan: 888.665.2421 |
Mail: Nolcha LLC | 350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor | New York | NY | 10118
Independent Retailer Month UK queries: Clare Rayner: | 0844 4145153 | The Old Pump House, 1A Stonecross, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AA