After the decidedly un-British importation of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other incentives for people to start stabbing each other over discounted flat screen TVs, this weekend sees another retail idea roll across the country. But this time, it’s a concept of which fans of a more reserved, thoughtful type of shopping can thoroughly approve.
Small Business Saturday is a direct clone of something that started in the US as an antidote to the big box warehouse deals and online discount frenzy of the other ridiculous retail dates. With councils waiving parking fees and high street spending being promoted heavily on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, this is a rare moment of galvanised support for independent traders.
Leading the charge in this locality is Queen’s Crescent Xmas Market, where the increasingly diverse range of Thursday and Saturday regular stalls will be joined by lots of festive craft, gifts, food and jewelry too. They’ve got big Christmas trees lit up, a Santa’s grotto with presents for (good) children, face painting, chestnuts and plenty more. And remember to check out the antiques section, plus order your festive fish from the very welcome new seafood van too.
Up the road, Marie Curie Hospice on Lyndhurst Gardens has a Winter Fair opened by actor Robert Powell, offering designer labels, art and cakes.
While down at The Grafton, XFM DJ Phil Clifton’s regular pop-up vintage fair gets all seasonal this week (and again on the 14th) too, and supports local designers, artists and crafts-types. Plus there’s a whole pub full of booze downstairs.
Or take a short hop over to Camden Lock Market too, where they are flying the flag for local shopping all month with the People’s Republic of Christmas now in full swing. Browsing the boutiques is surely the local remedy for all manner of Oxford Street nightmares.
And did you know that every pound spent with an independent business moves around the local economy at least two to three times, returning 50-70p to the area, but a pound spent with a national chain brand only returns around 5p?
Oh, and if you’re out and about, don’t forget too that the neighbourhood forum (KTNF) have their next public meeting and exhibition on Saturday. So pop by to discuss protecting heritage buildings like the former Pizza Express, creating a Kentish Town Square around the tube station, and even ideas to deck over the railway line through Kentish Town creating a green corridor (1-5pm with a Q&A at 4pm, St Benet’s Church, Lupton Street NW5).