The Government Has Turned Its Back on Independent Retail.
Do you know why our mannequins in our boutique have their backs turned? The Government has 'turned it's back on Independent retail' is the accusation leveled at the Prime Minister from Boutiques in Business (BIB). It's member boutiques across the UK have posted photos of their in-store mannequins with their backs turned, to highlight their utter frustration that large high street chains and other non-food businesses can continue to trade, while BIB members are forced to close the doors.
Amanda Leigh Slattery founder of BIB said, "Our members feel let down, ignored and extremely angry. While we are forced to close for a month, these so called 'non essential retail items -clothing, gifts and accessories' are being hawked for sale by supermarkets or other 'mixed' retailers".
The idea for turning in store mannequins backwards came from Naomi Walker owner of Bombshell Betty Boutique in Garstang. She added, "The idea is to collectively demonstrate the real sense of injustice felt by members in this second lockdown. The view from our shop windows, is that the government has effectively turned it's back on independent retail".
Amanda added, "This second lockdown comes at the critical, pre-Christmas buying time and is in our members view, totally unacceptable and must be resolved quickly".
To that end, a petition has been created to ask the Government to be fairer with their definition of essential and non-essential items and to prevent items deemed non essential being offered for sale regardless of the location
Shirley Leader, owner of Velvet & Rose Boutique is incensed by the unfairness of the situation. Her view, "if clothes are deemed non-essential, then the rule should be standardised across all types of retailers, regardless of what they predominantly sell and in which aisle they sell it in. Large multinationals should not be allowed to exploit the loophole. Our boutiques follow the Covid-19 guidelines for safety and are most likely a lot safer than the larger stores".
Amanda concludes, "Whilst everyone understands the severity of Covid and BIB members will continue to remain closed as mandated, it's the inherent unfairness of it that resonates. Today I'm calling for all independent retailers whether it's a boutique, gift shop, toy shop, bookshop or anyone else whose been forced to close to make a stand, show unity and sign our petition.
Independent businesses are often referred to as the heartbeat of local communities. Our worry is many businesses may not have a viable heartbeat when this is over. It feels like no one is fighting our corner".
For more information please contact the following:
Amanda Leigh Slattery 07961 554105.
Shirley Leader VelvetandRoseUK@gmail.com
Boutiques in Business was established in 2019. The group was formed to join UK boutiques together, offer support and create one voice within the industry. It now has a strong membership base drawn from a wealth of independent fashion retailers from across the country that represents a cross section of the fashion industry.