There’s something unique about the British High Street. As well as being a critical part of our economy, it brings together communities, especially at Christmas time.
As the world becomes more digitised we know high streets continue to be an important place for local communities, providing real-life experiences and unique interactions. Indeed, we commissioned some research that showed four out of five shoppers (81%) would miss the high street if it was no longer there. And - despite the challenges facing the retail sector – more than half of the nation’s independent retailers are optimistic about the future of their local high street. With both consumers and retailers showing a strong affinity to the high street, and knowing how important they are to local economies nationwide, we want to help them thrive.
That's why, this Christmas, in a bid to encourage shoppers to support their high street and local communities, we decided to flip the traditional format of the Christmas marketing campaign on its head, to focus on where people buy, rather than what or who they buy for.
Spanning TV, outdoor, online and social media advertising, we’re celebrating the real high street heroes - the independent retailers themselves. In our first UK Christmas TV advert, nine real shopkeepers feature, each with their own unique story, singing along to Mariah Carey’s iconic All I Want For Christmas Is You. The lyrics themselves are particularly fitting as the ‘you’ is used to refer to customers, who we want to inspire to visit their local high street.
Whether it is Dunn’s Bakery run by fifth-generation baker Christopher or toyshop owner Loïc who, after working in a toy store that was forced to close during the recession, enlisted the help of the local community to open his own successful business, The Toybox - it is their stories that demonstrate the importance of the high street and the determination of the people behind them.
We’re also celebrating 100 independent retailers nationwide through our campaign on billboards in their local areas and through geo-targeted social media advertising. By shining a spotlight on real independent retailers, we hope that people feel inspired to visit their local high street this Christmas. From Glasgow to Great Yarmouth, Newport to Newcastle, communities can expect to see adverts featuring their local independents.
At Visa we see our role as an enabler of secure, simple and seamless commerce, providing consumers and businesses with more convenient and flexible ways to purchase goods and services. At a time when the nation’s high streets are transforming as both technology and consumer behaviour evolve, we want to re-establish the high street as a place synonymous with familiar faces, places and good service. That is why real people are at the centre of our campaign.
We all have a role to play in helping to secure the future of our high streets. So, whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a loved-one or a last-minute Secret Santa – why not visit your local high street? #KeepItLocalThisChristmas