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28 & 29 January 2018, Business Design Centre, London

News

04 June 2017

Making Matters


Is post-Brexit discount culture having a negative impact on your small business? When several much-loved children’s stores were forced to close in the wake of the referendum, an online conversation about the damage wrought by ‘fast fashion’ began – and the hashtag makingmatters was born. Now, a group of international retailers are determined to address this issue, educating consumers on the value of the independent. We asked spokesperson Nicola Eyre, who founded family concept store Cissy Wears, to tell us more…

 
Hi Nicola. Could you tell us about the makingmatters hashtag? How and why did it come into use?
 
The term Making Matters was coined by fellow retailer Bon Tot. We had received an email from a company trying to encourage the start of an additional, Black Friday-style annual event. Although I understood the thought-process behind it, it seemed to me to be shooting ourselves in the foot. Discount culture is killing our industry, devaluing brands, and driving an unhealthy appetite for consumption. It just seemed that we should be trying to collectively stem this, not encourage it. I hit ‘reply all’ and started a dialogue with retailers all around the world - and it turned out everybody felt the same. We wanted to educate the consumer about why things cost more from an indie retailer or small brand, what the manufacturing process is, the costs borne by child labour and the environment, and what the real life implications are of discounting for a small business.
 
Which stores are involved in the #makingmatters movement, and what do they hope to achieve?
 
A whole host of global retailers; you only have to search the hash tag to see how many joined the conversation. We will keep talking about this until customer behaviour changes. As with everything, we will be more powerful together.
 
Why is it important that consumers support independent retailers, particularly in the wake of Brexit?
 

The immediate crushing effect for independent UK retailers was the fall of the currency markets. We suddenly had to find more money to pay for the next season about to land on our doorsteps - and because many brands set the RRPs, we lost more margin. If customers don’t shop with indie retailers, they simply won’t survive. 
 
How can retailers get involved in the makingmatters movement? And will there be an opportunity for brands to support the campaign?
 
Take pride in your store and the brands that you stock, and teach customers to value the goods they buy and the service you provide. In the wake of many UK indies closing down in the last few weeks, I think it's really important to keep talking about this - both to consumers, and within the industry. 
 
Find the makingmatters hashtag on Twitter - or, for more information, contact [email protected]


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