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GHTA Launches “Independent Retailer Resource Center”

The Gift and Home Trade Association, a non-profit professional trade association, has launched the Independent Retailer Resource Center (IRRC)—www.independentretailer.biz — to provide additional tools, resources, information and ideas aimed at aiding small business owners in promoting themselves as independent retailers.

“Independent retailers are an integral part of any community, as they support local economies and provide unique gifts and services to consumers nationwide,” said Diane Carnevale Jones, executive director of the GHTA. “We’re pleased to support them in their initiatives.”

The IRRC was first conceived during the GHTA’s 2006 “Future of the Industry” summit.

“While the GHTA as a whole believes that the retail industry is a mix of retail outlets, big and small, independent and otherwise, the Branding Action Group was formed to create this program specifically to provide independent retailers with information to spur their success, providing them with helpful resources to strengthen their identity as independents through marketing tactics, information about joining the shop local movement, recommended reading, industry events and much more,” the GHTA noted in a release.

The new website’s provider is Bombay Brains Media, www.bombaybrainsmedia.com.

“These are challenging times for small retailers,” said Carol Schroeder, co-owner of Orange Tree Imports in Madison, Wis., and retail advisor to the GHTA. “The Independent Retailer Resource Center will provide independent shopkeepers with tools to help them compete in a crowded marketplace. The shop local movement has been gaining strength in many parts of the country, and the GHTA wants to help gift and home accessories retailers take advantage of this momentum. They can either choose to start a buy local program in their area, using the information and links provided on the IRRC site, or creatively promote their store individually using the tools provided.”

Another aspect of the site is the professionally designed Shop Outside the Box and Proud to Be an Independent Retailer logos, which retailers can download at no charge and use to identify themselves as independents, encouraging their community members to support local business.

And the Success Stories page on the site is meant to provide retailers with inspiration, as they read about peers who have overcome adversity and who share innovations. All retailers are invited to share personal stories by contacting the GHTA.

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