Close to 50 retailers have registered to join a Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) campaign this month that could help small and medium-size businesses expand their reach to overseas consumers.
“Independent Retailer Month,” popularised annually in North America and launched this July in Bermuda, has attracted a total of 47 participating brands that will be promoted globally via the BTA website. While more than a dozen registered businesses are currently receiving greater exposure through BTA channels for offering online orders and worldwide delivery, the BTA is encouraging more brands to leverage the campaign’s long-term benefits by adopting click-and-ship services.
“Stores with an e-commerce presence and international shipping options stand to benefit the most,” said BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones, “and we don’t want to exclude anyone from this opportunity to reach a bigger pool of shoppers. The BTA has formed partnerships with DHL and other vendors to help any business without e-commerce and international shipping to level up.”
A dedicated webpage at Gotobermuda.com showcases retailers that offer Bermuda-made or Bermuda-inspired products. Leveraging the hashtag #ChooseBDA, the BTA will also stage a week-long @Bermuda Instagram Stories takeover starting July 13, each day featuring different categories, including beauty products, boutiques, handmade jewellery, and foodstuffs. BTA is partnering with local social-media brand The Nab App, and its influencer Danielle Paynter, to guide shoppers to favourite items and entrepreneurs.
“With an estimated 3,500 small businesses and 400 medium-sized businesses operating in Bermuda, the retail sector is very important,” noted Raymond Lambert, Micro Small Medium Enterprise Director, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). “Retailers are key to the survival of Bermuda. Without the supply of goods necessary for our day-to-day life, our island would stall. BEDC and our officers are committed to assisting retailers weathering this storm and are happy to lend support during Independent Retailer Month.”
Stores qualify as “independent” under the initiative if they are small shops owned by a Bermudian individual, family or partnership, and are not affiliated with established global brands or franchises.
“Our members are also focusing on how retail can get through these challenging times, so, it makes sense to work with the BTA on this campaign,” said Lorraine Shailer, Retail Division, Bermuda Chamber of Commerce. “The Retail Division sponsors the #ChooseBDA campaign too, and we hope to encourage shopping and learning about all the fantastic stores and products available right here in Bermuda.”
To participate in Independent Retailer Month, business owners can complete the BTA’s online Participation Form before July 9, and indicate whether they’re offering special incentives for consumers in Bermuda or overseas—such as personal-shopping assistance or deals on international shipping.
Independent Retailer Month is part of the BTA’s “Inside-Out” marketing strategy activating our community to support local businesses and jobs as air visitors return to the island.
The BTA—whose Bermuda Visitor Services Centre on Front Street, Hamilton, re-opened 10 am–2pm daily this month—is also reaching out to tourism-related businesses to find out details on re-openings and public-health protocols being put in place to protect consumers. A stakeholder e-alert will go out this week seeking feedback.