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Residents of Lichfield annd Burntwood are being encouraged to use local independent retailers as part of a national campaign. Independents’ Day takes place on July 4, coordinated by Skillsmart Retail and National Skills Academy for Retail who are urging the public to buy at least one product from an independent retailer. Recent data from a Local Data Company survey reveals that high street vacancy rates have started to rise with 14.6 per cent of outlets now vacant. In Lichfield this is apparent with the closing of Adams, Early Learning Centre and Currys as well as the threat of closure for  TJ Hughes, while bucking the trend are a number of new independent retailers such as Made by Hand by Me and Decades Vintage. Anne Seaman, Chief Executive of Skillsmart Retail said:
“We are delighted to lead this campaign and support small retailers. Raising awareness amongst the public is one of the biggest challenges smaller retailers face and our message is about encouraging the public to use their local high street and understand how important a diverse retail sector is. It’s also essential that local retailers understand that to compete today they need to be top of their game. The time for sitting back has passed and action is required: Your high street needs you!”
As part of the event, Lichfield Live will be launching a brand new business directory, aimed a showcasing independent retailers in the city. Philip John of Lichfield Live said:
“Lichfield has lost a few chain stores recently but as always has a healthy spread of independent shops. As a local business ourselves we wanted to support the local economy by making it easier for Lichfieldians to discover the independent retailers around them. “Existing business directories are severely lacking so we thought we’d build our own instead!”
Independent retailers who want to appear for free on the directory are encouraged to contact with their details. The directory will be launched on July 4.

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