13 February 2007, 16:40 PM
  • With Purple Love Week (10th to 17th Feb) well under way, independent retailers across the country are showing their strength in the most colourful ways.

Organised by Olives Et Al, Purple Love Week aims to confirm what’s great about independent retailers by encouraging them to get customers tasting and buying during the week long event. And, with 615 outlets taking part, purple love is spreading like wild fire and retailers are reaping the benefits.

St Andrews-based delicatessen, Butler and Company will be turning purple every day, offering a series of tastings and spreading a little love throughout the seaside town. Customers will have the option to taste the delicious Kschocolat Chocolates and Booja Booja Chocolate Truffles, whilst specially imported oysters will be available to purchase and eat right in store.

Foxbury Farm Shop has also got in on the act for the first time. For the event, the farm and the shop will be infused with the spirit of Purple Love. As well as the regular selection of wonderful local fresh produce there will be special “love” displays and samples by some of its producers.

All week long Wensleydale with Cranberries will be on special, a beautiful compliment to any romantic meal and Tyrrells, will be promoting its Love Chips. The team has even created a special spicy love burger!

A health food shop in Burnham-On-Sea also turned purple on Saturday 10th February, offering tastings to hungry customers. Shop owner, Tom Kyffin, said, “This fun event really does serve to highlight the serious issue of how we can keep our high streets buzzing and we’re really excited to be taking part in Purple Love Week 2007.”

Liz Burt at Olives Et Al says the initial response to Purple Love Week has been terrific, with reports coming in of massive sales increases for retailers. She explains, “Individual shops experienced an upturn in sales of more than 30% over the weekend and our own little shop here in Sturminster Newton actually increased its average February Saturday sales by just over 60%!”

She puts these figures into perspective, saying, “A national 30% upturn in sales for the 615 shops taking part could realise between £0.7 and £1m extra revenue into the independent sector in just one week (based on stats polled from those taking part and assuming average deli sales).

“One can imagine the long term impact of supporting independents like this will be worth millions of pounds to the sector over the course of a year. In addition, the event has generated substantial regional and national press interest, including a major feature in the Saturday Telegraph, dozens of local press features and 100s of web reported news features. Purple Love Week will also be the lead story on UKTVFood’s Great Food Live programme on Valentine’s Day, proof that in its second year the event is really growing in profile.”

For more information on Purple Love Week visit www.purpleplaces.co.uk.