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Bira members get creative in the face of coronavirus

Bira members are showing just how creative they can be in the face of a crisis. They are finding new ways to drive businesses forward after seeing footfall decline following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Twitter and Instagram have seen a hive of activity with independent retailers using the platforms to not only entice shoppers, but to raise the profile of local high streets, or community support groups.

From loyalty cards, money-saving offers and community networking, here’s just a few that have caught our eye…

Hargreaves & Sons, in Buxton (@hargreaves_sons), has been encouraging people to continue support for local independent retailers. They’ve joined with other independent retailers in the community to offer customers 10% off their next purchase from a range of other shops including fellow Bira member, jewellery shop Jantar (@JantarBuxton). Hargreaves has also offered free delivery to customers who are self-isolating within a five-mile radius of the shop.

Frankie & Jonny’s (@FJcookshop) in York has been helping to promote the ‘Bishy Road Volunteers’ network – a local initiative to help vulnerable people who are being forced to self-isolate, while Weaverham Hardware  (@WeaverHardware) is offering free delivery for local residents.

Sheffield-based sustainable toy shop, Small Stuff (@SmallStuffUK) is offering customers 5% off gift card sales (which can be used in store and online) along with free shipping for the next few weeks. Hellen Stirling-Baker, who runs Small Stuff is also still pledging some of her profit to Work for Good, a fundraising platform which allows businesses to make quick donations to charities through their sales.

Richard Dare Cookshop (richarddarecookshop) in London’s Primrose Hill is using Instagram to promote fellow independent retailers, while Coconut & Cotton (coconut.and.cotton), a plastic-free homewares store in Dorset, is offering free refills and delivery of its hand sanitiser and soap.

And there’s always room for humour in times of crisis. Jarrold of Norwich (@JarroldNorwich) used Twitter to announce that they have a supply of loo roll (hurrah!) along with a throwback to one of the historic department store’s 1920s posters advertising toilet tissue. The poster even offers ‘special prices for bulk quantities’. Imagine that!

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “It is good to see that even during challenging times, our members are being resilient and creative in thinking of new ways to drive business and also help the local community.”

How are you using social media creatively to drive your business in challenging circumstances. Email our communications manager, or send her a tweet @emilyb_bira

Access further advice through our Coronavirus Hub