Independent Retailers’ Programme

This free, innovative training and support programme offers hands-on support to help you understand how making a small change can have a big impact.

You will gain new knowledge and skills to improve your business, including how to turn footfall into customers, boosting sales and creating ideas for promotions.

Choose whether to attend all of the workshops or just those you feel are most appropriate.

To sign up to a free training workshop or for further information, please call 01293 442200 (press 4) or email

Training workshops

Visual merchandising: Monday 29 October 10am-1pm (Crawley College – Corporate Suite)

Do you want to enhance your store without spending a lot of money?

This session will give you an overview of visual merchandising, enabling you to identify areas that apply to your store. You’ll be asked to bring along images of any areas of concern in your store, and practical solutions will be discussed.


Retail and digital marketing: Monday 5 November 10am-1pm (Crawley College – Corporate Suite)

Can social media improve your business?

This session will explore social media and digital media as a form of marketing, helping you to find out how to evaluate which channels are right for your business. Learn the benefits of digital marketing and how to deal with negative comments online.

Targeting the customer: Monday 12 November 10am-1pm (Crawley College – Corporate Suite)

Do you know who your target customer is?

This session will help you to understand if you are targeting the right customers and look at how customers’ shopping habits change. We will look at understanding where your business fits amongst your competitors and how to get involved in Small Business Saturday.


Buying for profit: Monday 19 November 10am-1pm (Crawley College – Corporate Suite)

Are you offering too much or too little choice to your customers? Should you be selling online? What are your competitors selling?

In this session we will look at keeping up-to-date with what your customer wants. Keeping the product or service offer up-to-date is important in staying ahead in business.

Buying for profit: Monday 26 November 10am-1pm (Crawley College – Corporate Suite)

First impressions matter. So what does the customer see when they look at your business from the outside?

This session will cover the basics of shop front design, window design, promotions and keeping the customer focused in the few seconds of their time between seeing a store and making a decision to enter.

Mentoring programme

You are encouraged to apply for bespoke, instore training and mentoring sessions. These sessions aim to help improve performance and ensure all commercial opportunities are identified and acted upon. Sessions could include, but are not limited to:

  • Business planning
  • Space planning
  • Window dressing
  • Marketing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Buying
  • Customer service

Shop front grant

Independent retailers who take part in either the training workshops or mentoring sessions are eligible to apply for the shop front grant to improve or refurbish their premises. The grant is available for up to 75 per cent of the eligible improvement with a maximum contribution of £4,000 inc VAT.

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