High streets and independent shopkeepers are at the heart of communities across the UK, providing employment and acting as the driving force behind local economies.
Their importance was underlined by research1 that we commissioned earlier this year which revealed that half of Brits (54%) feel that the high street is a place where communities come together, and shopping locally is found to increase feelings of happiness for seven out of ten people (73%). Independent retailers echoed this positive sentiment with almost three quarters (73%) optimistic about the future of their high street, up from 52% in 2018.
Last Christmas, Visa ran a campaign in the UK highlighting the importance of supporting our high streets. It really resonated with shoppers and shopkeepers alike, which is why this year we are giving a platform to an even greater number of the UK’s independent retailers.
This year’s campaign – entitled ‘Where You Shop Matters’ – is a rallying cry to UK shoppers, encouraging all of us to switch our focus from what we buy to where we buy it.
We are spotlighting over 150 independent retailers nationwide, including featuring them in our TV advert, personalised adverts on prime city-centre billboards and geo-targeted ads on social media.
In addition, we are really excited this year to invite every shopkeeper across the UK to join the campaign by recreating our advert to show why ‘Where You Shop Matters’ as part of a nationwide competition. The winning retailers will see their advert air during a prime-time advertising slot in the run-up to Christmas for millions to watch.
Our support for the UK’s high streets and independent retailers doesn’t merely involve activities such as our Christmas campaign, but also the work we do to enable new payment experiences that allow consumers and merchants to engage in seamless, simple and secure digital commerce.
We have seen that the most successful high streets are those that are adapting and innovating to meet changing consumer behaviours. Yet in the end their success relies on all of us, which is the reason that we are again inviting you to join us in showing your high street some love both this Christmas and beyond.
1Research commissioned by Visa and conducted by 3GEM between 11th – 18th April 2019, following original research commissioned by Visa and conducted by 3GEM in April 2018. Both surveyed 2,000 consumers and 750 small high street businesses (independent businesses located on a high street, with less than 50 employees) across the UK.