I Love Local Shops: Poster power helps Leicester and Leicestershire retailers
The Leicester Mercury's I Love Local Shops campaign might have come to an end but retail experts and business owners are urging readers to continue supporting the county's best independent traders.
Our six-week campaign celebrated the best independent shops the county has to offer.
Staff at city centre bookshop Christian Resources, in Peacock Lane, were among more than 100 shop owners who downloaded our campaign poster to display.
Manager Janette Sturgis urged shoppers to keep supporting independents.
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She said capitalising on recent events had helped the store compete with the retail giants.
Janette said: "When the royal family came to visit, Kate saw us.
"I think if she had had more time she would have had a browse and might have bought something.
"We sold lots of memorabilia, such as the DVD of the service in the cathedral and pictures from the day."
The potential discovery of a different royal in a nearby car park has also seen postcards and books fly of the shelves.
"We quickly ordered postcards of a painting of Richard III in the cathedral and they have been popular," said Janette.
"We offer a really personal service, ordering things especially for customers, and that sets us apart."
Hundreds of people have e-mailed or tweeted us to tell us their favourite shops.
Dozens of traders have got in touch to be included on our interactive online map showing independent shops.
Retail guru Mary Portas, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have backed the campaign.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the campaign had highlighted the great independent offerings in the county.
"They are a vital part of any thriving, bustling city and this campaign has done a great job of highlighting what is on offer in Leicester," he said.
"I would urge people to continue supporting local independent business, to ensure that they continue to thrive and bring character and variety to Leicester's shopping areas."
Trevor West, chairman of the Rural Shops Alliance, urged people to keep supporting village stores.
He said: "It's too often the case that we only appreciate these shops after they are gone.
"Rural shops in particular are so much more than just a village store – they are at the heart of the community, providing a vital service, in particular to the elderly.
"At the same time, they provide work locally, very often supporting small businesses.
"It's also important to remember the effect on the environment.
"A visit to your local shop might just remind you that friendly, efficient service, quality products and value for money are still to be found."
To continue supporting the campaign, download and print off your own I Love Local Shops poster to display in your shop or home window from:
Retailers: Download and print a Support Local Shops poster click here (pdf)
Readers & shoppers: Download and print your I Love Local Shops poster click here (pdf)
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FIND RECOMMENDED LOCAL SHOPS IN LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND BY CLICKING ON THE PURPLE PINS