Oberon Clothing & Accessories, based in Wyle Cop, prides itself on not just being a shop, but a place where customers can enjoy getting to know its hand-picked brands and finding their own distinctive style, with a focus on slow style rather than fast fashion.
“We want things to last – our pieces, our friendships with our customers, some of whom we've had for nearly four decades – and that joy you feel when you step in to our shop,” said owner Stacey Hill.
“We are incredibly lucky to be on one of the best retail streets in the UK. Wyle Cop is a haven for indie retailers in the historic heart of Shrewsbury, and we know that it's a community effort to bring people from far and wide into our amazing town.”
The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), whose member trade associations represent approximately 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK between them. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s high streets and the central role they play in their local communities.
In addition to the main award, Oberon has also been shortlisted for a special award to be given to the independent retailer that has demonstrated specific innovation to combat the impact of Covid-19.
Back in March the shop kicked off its Covid content with a breaking news video report, which reached over 30,000 people.
It then launched Stacey's Diary, a weekly update from owner Stacey on the website, as well as Oberon Edits, try-on videos, and newsletters.
“We kept spirits high and the orders rushed in from our newly launched website, over the phone and through social media. Everyone got involved - customers sharing snaps of them rocking their lockdown Oberon outfits, liking and sharing our posts, everyone loving their daily dose of Oberon sunshine,” added Stacey.
“Our following increased phenomenally in just a few weeks across our social channels, and our website subscriptions went through the roof. We've never felt so loved."
Mark Walmsley, chair of the IRC, said: “This has been a particularly challenging year for small, independent retailers and many have come through to this point through innovation, quality of product and service, a commitment to serve their local communities and a large dose of determination.
“As more and more people have been forced to stay home and work from home, we have seen just how much we all value local independent shops and want to see them not just survive, but also thrive.
"These shops offer choice, diversity and genuine customer service. And, after what has been a rather dark year, that has to be worth celebrating.”