With July being Independent Retailer Month, intu Milton Keynes has looked to promote its independent local shops along with its big name High Street draws.
As well as an abundance of big brands like Zara, Apple and Hugo Boss, intu Milton Keynes has a collection of permanent independent brands and several small-business-focussed events in the calendar, giving the centre more appeal to the savvy shopper than most.
“Our local Etsy & Artisan markets have grown in success and popularity with each event and they give small businesses a wonderful opportunity to showcase their products to thousands of visitors,” said marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, Kirsty McGiff.
The Etsy events take place throughout the year and consist of up to 80 individual stalls lining the mall with their handmade products.
Kirsty adds: “Although the current climate means our events are on hold, we’re confident that our Etsy markets will return soon, so watch this space. As it is Independent Retailer Month in July, we are celebrating our much-loved shops and the lovely people that work within them.”
Made in Sud, the authentic Italian Pizzeria on the Boulevard is one of the great success stories of Milton Keynes small businesses. Made in Sud has proven that when you have the right product, you can achieve anything.
Owned by Leonardo Bianco, the team joined intu Milton Keynes at the first ever Artisan market in June 2017. Following an initial week trial, they soon realised there was a more permanent and healthy appetite for their traditional pizza.
Since then, their reputation has grown across the city and have become a destination of their own. Rated 5.0 on TripAdvisor, quality and authenticity are key ingredient to their success.
Next to Made in Sud, visitors will find the perfect accompanying dessert – Churros Mexicanos. The light and airy, sugary treat with mouth-watering dipping sauces is a family favourite. The large upturned sombrero holders with protruding sticks of deliciousness can be see hovering throughout the centre by children, and adults alike. The family-run business joined intu Milton Keynes in December 2018 and continue to spread sweetness across the city.
On the other side of the Boulevard, The Dutch Hospital has already expanded to a larger space to showcase its curated collection of homeware and gifts sourced from all around the world.
Anjali Wanigasuriya set up The Dutch Hospital as an online business in 2014 and joined intu Milton Keynes in May 2019. She said: “It’s been going so well, we’ve had such a great response! The response has been even better than we imagined and we wish we’d have opened a shop sooner. We have already seen a huge surge in demand now we’re out of lockdown and business seems to be picking up each week.”
The Dutch Hospital – which gets its name from the historic Old Dutch Hospital building in Sri Lanka where Anjali is from – specialises in luxurious and timeless home, wedding and giftware.
During the month of July, intu Milton Keynes invites visitors to support independent brands and appeals to other local entrepreneurs to explore the opportunity and rewards of being located in intu Milton Keynes.