“Independents’ Day is a national campaign aiming to promote and celebrate independent businesses, raise awareness of the contribution they make to their local area and give them a voice”

This is the aim of Independents Day in nutshell

The problem is that is not what I saw happen in 2013 and from local press it’s not what I’m going to see happen in 2014

If I were to write the truthful slogan for Independents Day as it actually happens in reality it would be

“Independents Day is a national campaign where local authorities tell all independents to discount heavily for one day and local newspapers charge you advertising space to discount heavily”

  • So so sorry – but isn’t the old cliché true of …. competing on price is simply a race to the bottom
  • So so sorry – but a recent survey of hospitality businesses revealed only 16% believed vouchers (aka discounts) are important for generating business in 2014 and the wise ones are keen to avoid the voucher / discount trap (Source: http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Trends-Reports/Restaurants-seek-to-avoid-voucher-trap )
  • So so sorry – but isn’t discounting just overdone and your customers are more intelligent than you think


Here are 5 things you could do instead of discounting on Independents Day

  1. Introduce a Premium Product For Just One Day i.e one that people will pay extra £££s for instead of less £££s
  2. Run an instore event that draws people in
  3. Offer a Limited Time Special Product / Service – Available for just one day
  4. Create A Partnership with a complimentary local businesses that encourages people to visit both businesses
  5. Run a competition that involves your customers creatively

Please do something great that gets people talking and buying rather than thinking a 10% discount will make the thousands cancel their plans, pay parking and rush to your store to save 50p

Honestly – your business is better than discounting – and you know it!

*** If you want to speak to a marketing company that doesn’t just suggest discounting as a quick fix – email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk ***

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7 responses to “Independents Day – Can We Please Stop Discounting?”

  1. Wise words as ever Mr McCann!

  2. Avatar Charles Horton says:

    Really good advice.

  3. Well said that man, again! You’ve got to value what you offer.

  4. I agree with what you’re saying re discounting being a poor communication of quality.

    And I agree it’s a bit of window-dressing for a local paper advertising sales drive.

    However, I think the Independents Day is aimed at retailers – therefore is it slightly misleading to compare stats from the restaurant industry? Is that not more of a service industry?

    • Alex Alex says:

      Thanks John….

      Originally Independents Day is supposed to be aimed at the retailers – but as I saw last year at a local level the town teams (councils) and press simply go for anything on or near the high street

      Also in the main night-time economy is often doing better than retail in many towns so a good indication of where to go

  5. Avatar Paula Cohen says:

    Alex you’re absolutely spot on with this one! How can we claim to be supporting independent businesses by asking them to slash their prices? Discounting in general is one of my real bug-bears. So few business owners really understand just how much they give away each time they discount, or the fact that the impact on them is way bigger than the perceived value to the customer. Let’s take a really simple example – an independent retailer buys something for 75p & sells it for £1 normally, making 25p profit. For the sake of ‘Independents Week’ they knock 10% off the price. So now their profit is 15p. The customer has saved 10%, which as discounts go these days seems absolutely paltry (nice work Groupon thanks for that!) and yet the retailer has just given away 40% of his profit. So who wins? Frankly nobody in my eyes. Sell on value NOT price because those people who buy just for the discount won’t come back again anyway, whereas those who get the real value of what you do will come back time & time again – and that’s where real business profit comes from. Rant over!

  6. […] Discounting is something I’ve been talking a lot about recently with Independents Day coming up and the heavy push from local newspapers and authorities for independents to offer discounts – read the full blog on that here […]

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