Independent retailers came together at the OXO Tower in London to celebrate the ongoing success of the national online selling platform – Down Your High Street, alongside event organisers Network & Chill and partners The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA). With workshop sessions from DYHS supporter Mark Hayes, stylist on ITVs Lorraine and a motivational talk from The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon, the event’s aim was to inspire retailers, encourage networking and to get a deeper understanding of the platform, which now has 600 independent retailers trading on it.
Julie Holden, national membership manager at BIRA said: “Down Your High Street is an ideal platform for our members and we are proud to work in partnership with them to provide an opportunity for bricks and mortar retailers to embrace online sales in a simple and affordable way. The fact that all traders on the platform must have a physical shop is very important to us. We want to support the high street whilst recognising the convenience factor for consumers and the need for retailers to respond to changes in the way people are shopping.”
Dan Whytock, CEO of Down Your High Street said: “As the co-founder of Downyourhighstreet.com (and once upon a time a market trader), the relationship we have formed with BIRA brings me great excitement as we are able to work with their 100+ years of retail supporting experience to make sure our independents are looked after and supported in the best way possible! In the current retail climate this is more important than ever before.
“Our relationship started with a common interest in driving awareness to the UK high street and we can proudly say that together we have now achieved that with our first joint success story. Artichoke Boutique in Swaffham signed up to Down Your High Street through Bira and went on to sell hundreds of products and gained TV exposure from it, producing a brand new revenue stream to help keep their shop open on the high street.
“We look forward to a long-term relationship with BIRA supporting retailers all over the country.”
BIRA member Sarah Simmonds, owner of Artichoke Ely attended the event. Ms Simmonds said: “I received an email from BIRA which brought my attention to Down Your High Street and their promotional offer for BIRA members. I signed up and in my first month on the platform our shop was featured on national TV and we achieved almost 350 online sales.
“My contact at DYHS has been very helpful and understands the entrepreneurship of owning a shop, so it allows us to creatively work together for on and offline sales.”