Why independent shopping is cheaper than the high street

Why independent shopping is cheaper than the high street

As part of our More For Less issue, Kirstin Innes explodes the key myth about independent shopping: that it’s more expensive than the high street

Small, local independent shops are just as keen to reward regular customers for loyalty as their big-corp bretheren, and none of the offers below will leave you with the anticlimax of realising your three years’ worth of Boots points only entitle you to a free deodorant.

Take one of our favourite clothes shops, Godiva in Edinburgh’s West Port, for example. Subscribers to their mailing list (www.godivaboutique.co.uk) will already know this, but on Thu 25 Feb they’re running a promotional night for their Made to Measure service: essentially affordable couture where you can choose the style and fabric of your dress and one of their instore designers will run it up for you. Anyone who orders their dress on the night will get 10% off.

Signing up on high end fashion house Corniche (2 Jeffrey Street)’s website also yields benefits. Not only are they currently offering some really eye-popping reductions on all manner of offbeat designer gear (we like the look of the gents’ Francois Girbaud jackets down to £80 from £233), but registering at their online store (www.corniche.org.uk) gives you access to the 40% off sale stock two whole weeks before it appears in store. Cockburn Street staple Pie in the Sky tend to do things a little more lo-fi – become their friend on Facebook and they’ll send you regular special offers.

In Glasgow, Southside den of loveliness Butterfly Kisses (8 Skirving Street, Shawlands) hold regular discount evenings offering 10% off to subscribers – you have to go into the store to get on their mailing list. Che Camille (Argyll Chambers, off Buchanan Street, www.checamille.com), home to almost all of Glasgow’s hot young design talent, is launching a very rewarding loyalty card scheme for 2010, and registering online with upmarket lingerie boutique Boudiche (15 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, and 203 Ingram Street in Glasgow, www.boudiche.com) gets you access to regular instore showcase events, with goodie bags and 10% off.

Finally, Fraserburgh-based beer-punks Brewdog are looking for fans of their brand to become shareholders. You get to have a say in how the business is run, and a 20% lifetime discount. (www.equityforpunks.com) Bargain beer for life! See, independent is always better!


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