INDEPENDENT businesses in Leamington are being given a helping hand from Warwick University students.
Enactus Warwick, an entrepreneurial organisation led by students at the university, has highlighted how many can tap into the student market in their latest report about the town centre’s independent retail sector.
A six-strong group conducted a survey of independent traders and fellow students have now presented their findings to BID Leamington.
Increasing customer footfall and loyalty, rising business costs and raising brand awareness were the main issues among many of the retailers surveyed.
And the group say engaging with students as well as using digital marketing and data analytics could help improve this.
The University of Warwick’s economic impact on Leamington is said to be £84 million, with the expenditure of University of Warwick students living in the town estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of £64.5 million.
The Enactus Warwick group will now be working with BID Leamington to build upon the report by offering one-to-one advice to independent business owners and repeating the survey in more detail on an annual basis.
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said promoting and enhancing the town’s offering to students was a core objective of BID Leamington.
She said: “It is great to have this brilliant resource of young people on our doorstep who are giving up their time to help us come up with ideas on how to take the town centre and its independent retailers forward.
“The report highlights the enormous potential for the town’s independent retailers to tap into the student market more, and suggests a toolkit of ideas such as employing students to help with social media and tailoring retail offerings to students.”
Daniar Rusnak, from Enactus Warwick, added: “The survey shows that there is confidence within the independent businesses in Leamington Spa with a majority expecting a growth in revenue over the coming year, which is very positive.”
The group has already worked with several independents including ZouBisou in Regent Court, whose owner Stephanie Summers
opted to introduce a student discount after 6pm during exam time after she noticed many were coming into the café to revise.
BID Leamington is now offering to facilitate more link-ups between businesses and the students.
Visit www.bidleamington.com for further details.