Now in its fifth year, shoppers were invited to nominate their favourite local business in the run up to Valentine’s Day on 14 February. Consumers were also encouraged to support indie retailers and spread the word about the campaign by word-of-mouth and on social media.
Over 12,000 people voted for their favourite indies across sectors ranging butchers, craft shops, cafes, greengrocers and womenswear boutiques.
Family-run indie Leggs Fashion has been operating in the North-East of England for over 100 years. Today it stocks a wide range of womenswear and menswear brands including Guess, Kevan Jon, Valentino, Paolo Vandini and Marc Darcy.
Co-owner Ann Coxon comments: “We are so very lucky to live and work in a town that supports independent businesses. We have fantastic customers who are so loyal and are forever grateful to every customer and to our amazing staff who help us to give the best experiences to them.”
Other businesses named in the top 20 list include Frankie Doodles Children’s Clothing Boutique in Basildon, Caroline’s Fashion and Accessories in Burgess Hill and The Little Quilt Shop in Shildon.
Dr Jackie Mulligan, expert on the government’s High Streets Task Force and founder of ShopAppy, comments: “We had more votes than ever this year and it shows the love people have for their local high street businesses.
“During the past three years, small high street businesses have had to endure a pandemic and an unprecedented cost of living crisis so it’s more important than ever that we show our support for them and spend local.
“Our high streets are the heart of local communities and the small businesses that line them are not just places to buy things but to meet others and chat. They are social not just transactional and that counts for so much for so many people.”