Let’s stick together

In the run up to Independents’ Day (4 July), the importance of independents working together has been reinforced in a new report, The Value of Collaboration, released today by American Express.

The report found that by collaborating via activities such as joint marketing campaigns, loyalty schemes, local events and joint promotions, independent businesses can boost their sales by an average of £30,000 each annually.

Neil Saunders, MD of Conlumino, which conducted the research, commented: “Collaboration between independent businesses can have huge financial benefits. This inevitably has a very positive impact on the economics of running an independent high street business. At a time when so much of retail is highly competitive it is fantastic to see how cooperation is creating sustainable success.”

The report also found that 59% of small business owners know at least half of their fellow local traders and close to a quarter (23%) know almost all of them, and are reaping the rewards for mutual benefit by recommending each other to their customers too.

“Whether it’s the local deli and off licence putting on a joint cheese and wine night, or an entire high street running a seasonal promotion, small merchants across the UK are clubbing together to improve their collective lot,” said Mark Roper, head of UK merchant services at American Express. “It makes strong business sense, delivering tangible returns in terms of boosted sales and saved labour costs and it is a trend that is increasing. One in six respondents said they plan to collaborate more in the next year or so.”