Shop 10 scheme celebrates Cockermouth’s independent traders

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Ten vouchers worth £10 each are up for grabs every month in Cockermouth thanks to a new shoppers’ scheme.

Shop 10 is a new marketing initiative organised by Cockermouth and District Chamber of Trade. It will reward locals and visitors who spend money in the town’s businesses with a monthly prize draw – and boost trade for participating retailers, many of which were affected by the floods of November 2009.

The initiative revolves around the number 10. Shoppers will collect 10 stamps on a special loyalty card from 10 independent retailers or businesses. They then need to leave their completed cards at Meglan’s, at 10 Station Street, and, on the 10th of the month; all cards will be entered into a prize draw. Ten winners will be chosen and will each receive a £10 voucher.

In keeping with this ‘10’ theme, the scheme will be launched on Monday 10 May 2010, at 10am.

Dozens of businesses have already signed up for the scheme and more are being encouraged to join in, particularly those who will soon be reopening after the floods.

The idea was the brainchild of Catherine Hetherington, who owns The New Bookshop on Main Street. Her business is one of those forced to relocate to Tithe House on Station Street while flood repairs are being carried out.

She took her inspiration from IndieBound, a community-oriented initiative launched by the American Booksellers Association, which encourages the use of independent retailers and promotes the values which make them unique.

Catherine said: “IndieBound brings together retailers and services, local business development groups and others who believe that healthy local economies help communities thrive, and will encourage our town to become the vibrant place it was, once again.

“The Shop 10 scheme isn’t really about the prizes – it’s about raising awareness of

Cockermouth and what’s on offer here.

“We hope that Cockermouth can become the first IndieBoundtown in the UK. There are real financial benefits for the local economy if people use independent traders and we should be encouraging this.

“Research in America has shown that for every $100 spent in an independent store, $68 stays in the community. However, if the same amount is spent in a national chain, only $43 stays in the local economy – and, if you spend the same money with a national chain online, nothing stays in the community!

“The Chamber of Trade has invested a lot of time in creating marketing initiatives and ideas to ensure Cockermouth doesn’t become a ghost town. We want shoppers to stay local and embrace what makes Cockermouth unique – our amazing selection of independent businesses.”

If you have a business with a CA13 postcode and would like to get involved in Shop 10, call Catherine on 07766014186 or email info@newbookshop.co.uk. Shoppers can pick up a Shop 10 challenge card from Monday 10 May from participating traders.