// Independent Retailers Confederation launches “We are Open” online directory to promote small shops still open
// Small & indie retailers that are open urged to add themselves to the new “we are open” interactive map
The Independent Retailers Confederation has launched “We are Open”, an online map and directory of independent shops that are still open and operating responsibly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the UK Government’s guidance, essential retailers have been able to remain physically open while all others were forced to temporarily shut down to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The new “We are Open” map provides a platform for independent retailers to communicate to customers that need their products and services that they remain open for business amid the lockdown.
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The directory, available to all independent shops and high street businesses free of charge, allows retailers to clarify the extent of opening – such as fully open, by appointment only, or as an online/delivery-only basis.
Shop owners can also include offers available specifically for key workers.
Consumers simply enter their postcode to see the confirmed open independent retailers in their area.
They can also search by sector, business type or by retail-specific filter options to refine their search.
The directory comes amid predictions that up to a third of independent retailers may struggle to reopen post-lockdown after facing delays in accessing emergency government loans.
With many high street shops relying on physical footfall, it has become difficult for many small retailers to get the word out that they are still open and operating in some way.
“The public still needs the products, services and knowledge that independent retailers provide and the ‘We Are Open’ directory helps them to quickly locate those shops that are open for business,” Independent Retailers Confederation chairman Mark Walmsley said.
“This directory will help bridge the gap between customers looking for open shops in a certain location, from a specific sector or selling a particular brand, and the retailers that remain open in some way to serve the public.”
The Independent Retailers Confederation is a collection of organisations that represent the interests of around 100,000 independent retailers across the UK.