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Home » Business News

Kings Heath gears up for Independent Retailer Month…

Submitted by on June 25, 2013 – 12:46 pm |

Independent retailers in Kings Heath's York RoadKings Heath has always had a very active community of independent retailers and businesses, which has never been more prominent and thriving than it is today.

York Road, just off the High Street is one example of a thriving street of independents – indeed every single business there is one.

Town Centre Manager Kate Smart is keen to make sure that these independent retailers get celebrated in a way that is befitting of their success and contribution to Kings Heath as a bustling destination and with July being marked as the national ‘Independent Retailer Month’ there has never been a better time.

“Sometimes I fear that independent businesses can get lost in the noise of publicity, the big buck advertising of national chains and because essentially they are SMEs where the owner may also be the stock room assistant, the cashier, the marketing manager and the cleaner all at once.

“The retail sector has had its obvious difficulties in recent years, but Kings Heath as a town has remained a very promising destination for people to operate and start up independent businesses.

“This July we are asking shoppers to make a concerted effort to support local independent businesses.” Explains Kate.

Kings Heath has a much lower than average rate of empty shops with less than 7% (against the national average of 12%) and in the last 12 months alone more than 15 new independent businesses have taken on new premises in the town.

The independents in Kings Heath come in all shapes and sizes, covering all aspects of retail, leisure and hospitality – from Butchers, to Coffee Bars, Hair and Beauty Salons to Vintage sweet shops.

Kings Heath’s Independents are not only operating their businesses in the town, but they’re also helping to run it and shape the future prosperity of the area through the Kings Heath Centre Partnership (BID.) Numerous independent business owners sit on the BID’s Board and committees – including Collette Timothy of Top Banana, Annie Laughrin from All Fired Arts and Stan Hems from Johnston’s Butchers.

Independents are really what makes Kings Heath stand out explains Kate Smart:

“We would love to welcome people to come and explore what we have to offer – particularly with the expected difficulties in the city centre this summer with road tunnel closures, Kings Heath is a perfect alternative destination for a day of retail therapy.”

There isn’t a shortage of things to do either, as Kings Heath village square is lining up an impressive collection of public events including: the monthly pop up street food market ‘Brum Yum Yum’ and ‘Espirito Brum’ – the Brazillian music and cultural exchange.

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