We love #indieretail!

Independent Retailer Month encourages consumers to shop local and celebrate indie retailers, creating more sustainable cities, towns and communities.


Independent Retailer Month is a shop local event that runs annually throughout July encouraging consumers to shop at independent retailers; highlighting their positive social and economic impact – locally, nationally and globally.

We encourage people to shop independent retail year round and to use July as a time to celebrate the independent retailers that help build our economy; creating more sustainable cities, towns and communities.

By engaging independent retailer associations, small business organizations and retail thought leaders we aim to demonstrate the importance of shopping independent. 

Where it began...

Independent Retailer Month was born from the collaboration of two very different individuals who share a common desire to celebrate independent retailers around the globe.

In 2003 Tom Shay, principal of Profits Plus, created a holiday, ‘National Independent Retailer Week‘, to show retailers how they could create celebrations for their communities, industries and own businesses.

In 2009 Kerry Bannigan, Co-Founder of Nolcha, launched ‘Independent Retail Week’, a week-long, city-wide, shopping extravaganza in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Jersey advancing the business of independent fashion retailers. This initiative worked with over 400 retailers, garnered support from the city’s tourism boards, chambers of commerce and Mayor’s office; with features on NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS.

In 2011 discussions began between Bannigan and Shay as they wanted to be inclusive of everyone that had some form of recognition for independent retailing. July 2011 Independent Retailer Month USA was born highlighting the important role local merchant’s play in the community, economy and overall retail sector.

The same year the Independent Retailer Month campaign expanded to the United Kingdom led by Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion.

Today Independent Retailer Month encourages consumers to celebrate the independent retailers that are the backbone of our communities and engages independent retailer associations and local officials to promote shop local campaigns.

Statistics to support indie retail

  • South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. found a dollar spent at an independent retailer is usually spent six to fifteen times in the community before heading out of town. Just $1 can create $5 to $14 of value in the immediate area.

  • According to the Indiana Main Street Program, only six cents of a dollar spent at a big box retailer stays in the area.

  • The Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that each $100 spent at local independents generated $45 of secondary local spending, compared to $14 for a big-box chain.

  • According to the SBA, since 1990, big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million jobs.

  • A Civic Economics study in New Orleans found that if residents and visitors were to shift 10 percent of their spending from chains to local businesses, it would generate an additional $235 million a year in local economic activity, creating many new opportunities and jobs.

  • According to the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retailers.

  • Local Economy survey shares that 57.2 percent of small firm workers scored in the highest commitment/employee loyalty category, compared to 40.5 percent of large firm workers.

  • The 2018 Home Sweet Home: Locals vs. Amazon study reports that local retailers reinvest 130 percent more of their revenues than chain retailers and 676 percent more of their revenues than Amazon.

  • A 2012 study by Civic Economics found that independent retail returns 46.9% of all revenue to the local economy while major chains recirculate 13.6% of revenue within local markets.

  • A study by The Institute for Local Self Reliance in 2013 found that for every $10 million spent on Amazon it creates 14 jobs vs 57 jobs when $10 million is spend at independents!

Something to think about: If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.