Retail Rocks the Cotswolds this November

Retail Rocks

Could 2019 be the year for independent and national retailers to work together? That’s what Rock the Cotswolds, the campaign set up to change how people see the Cotswolds, is highlighting at its next big event ‘Retail Rocks’ on Tuesday November 6 at Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham.

The Cotswolds is at an exciting stage with retail development competing with larger cities and Rock the Cotswolds thinks the tide could be turning.

The insolvency of big-box retailers Toys-R-Us and Maplin (which lured trade away from the high street in the 1980s), along with the ongoing troubles of substantial national retail chains are not simply explained by the rise in online retail.

Shoppers want more than stores. They want experience, leisure and fun. Independent retailers understand the value of true customer service, which is more about meeting local need and providing an enjoyable environment to shop, as well as selling local produce or a unique range of goods.  

National retailers undoubtedly help sustain high streets and shoppers will choose to visit the town offering the greatest retail variety. The most popular destinations have good quality national retail chains co-located with diverse, local independent retailers – giving the place a distinct personality. 

With speakers including John Lewis’ retail designer, Maybe*s Polly Barnfield OBE, Restaurant Owner and Masterchef finalist Koj and the University of Gloucestershire, this is a morning of exploring how retail in the Cotswolds can continue to thrive and will be held at Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham on the morning of Tuesday 6th November 2018 from 8.45am until 12.45pm. (For more details please see full programme listed below)

 It is open to independent and national retailers, brands, suppliers, bars and restaurants, entrepreneurs and all those interested in retail offering a day of insight and advice from national experts, alongside opportunities for retailers and suppliers to discuss the most pressing issues they face. 

Rock the Cotswolds’ co-founder Oli Christie, said: “We want to support the sector, which is a substantial driver of tourism, as well as sustaining the day-to-day lives of those who live and work here. The Cotswolds has a fabulous range of retailers and we want to help showcase their diversity, provide them with expert help and advice, and give them an opportunity – if they want it, to work more closely together to reduce costs and perhaps create new marketing opportunities. There’s strength in numbers.”

The team leading Rock the Cotswolds: Oli Christie, Nicky Godding and Melissa Ormiston, will be combining their decades of experience in brand development, retail and event management to deliver an event where the retail community can meet, learn from experts and share ideas to strengthen the appeal of our Cotswold towns.

To find out more about Rock the Cotswolds’ Retail Rocks, or to book your place, visit

Rock the Cotswolds was launched in 2014 as a colourful and creative national campaign to challenge popular misconceptions of the Cotswolds as simply a tourist paradise of rolling vistas and pretty villages. 

While great for tourism, this picture overlooks the region’s many world-leading businesses which offer ambitious young people and skilled people demanding a great work/life balance.

Rock the Cotswolds regularly reveals new people and businesses who are making their mark across the Cotswolds. Called Rock the Cotswolds’ Rockers, nearly 200 are profiled and showcased on