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Unique Shops are the Real Deal

Friday, July 4 is not just a red letter day in America – it’s also a day when Lincoln’s niche businesses have an extra opportunity to shine!

Date: 20th Jun '14

Once again, the city’s friendly  shopkeepers are preparing to celebrate Independents’ Day  – by giving shoppers and visitors to the city an extra warm welcome and great deals.

A high proportion of Lincoln’s independent businesses are nestled in the historic Strait, Steep Hill and Bailgate areas, but all Lincoln BIG’s levypayers which fall into this category have been encouraged to come up with special offers.

This means that shoppers should look out for unmissable discounts and deals, such as treats on restaurant and café menus.

Lincoln BIG is getting behind local businesses, by producing posters and flyers, providing bunting for shopfronts and through online marketing activities. It has also lined-up music and busking on Castle Hill for the occasion.

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Matt Corrigan said: “Lincoln’s independent, niche businesses, many of which are family-owned and run, play a hugely important role within the city’s retail mix.

“We are encouraging shoppers to take a closer look, because they tend to offer something a bit different from the national stores, such as individual gift ideas. Naturally, they are equally recognised for their tip-tip service.

“In Lincoln, we are very fortunate, in that the city is growing in prominence and attracting customer from a wide catchment area, as well as rising numbers of tourists.

“Independent retailers also offer surprisingly good value for money.  They don’t have the high overheads and complex supply chains of larger businesses and can be more astute in their buying,” said Mr Corrigan.

“They know their products well, which means you get quality, but also at the right price.”

Linda Wardale is the owner of Yellowbellys in Gordon Road and also Bailgate Guild Chairman.

“The Cathedral Quarter, which includes Newport, Bailgate. Steep Hill and The Strait,  is amazing to visit and features unique and interesting shops, offering fantastic customers service.  It’s a great place for people to spend time on Independents; Day,” said Linda.

“We are important providers of local jobs and services and a lot of businesses are longstanding, so people have confidence in us.

“I not only sell specialist goods, but I also offer advice and support. Independents aim to make shoppers feel good.”

Midas (which is opposite the Assembly Rooms in Bailgate) is a niche store selling handmade products,  with the emphasis firmly on British craftsmanship. Owner Dee Barnes has run the business for  15 years.

“We are keen to see more county people and visitors embracing the uniqueness of our independent shops.  Without their support we would not be here.  Lincoln’s strength lies in its independent traders.

“We are celebrating Independents’ Day by giving away a free handmade bracelet, worth £5, to every customer who spends £25.”

Richard Baxter is the owner of Goodies – a traditional sweetshop in The Strait – and also Chairman of the Bottom of the Hill Group.

“We are urging more people to discover this beautiful part of Lincoln. The Strait is only small, but it is home to some important shops and people can buy everything from cheese to sweets, gifts and clothing, as well as visit restaurants and cafes.

“We also lead on to Steep Hill, named Britain’s Greatest Street in 2012, so we want to encourage people who only get as far as the High Street area, near Corporation Street, to come and discover what is so special about this area.”

** Other special offers, notified to Lincoln BIG so far, include:

  • Beauty @ Bailgate – 15 per cent off all purchases
  • The Whisky Shop, Bailgate – 10 per cent off all purchases
  • Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Steep Hill  - 10 per cent off your fudge bill when quoting “Indie Day”
  • Yellowbellys, Gordon Road – 10 per cent off purchases over £10, And free tea/coffee with every cupcake purchased

For more information please contact Matt Corrigan at Lincoln BIG on 01522 545233.