American Express is offering its UK merchants complimentary custom signage and point-of-purchase displays that underscore the importance of shops being welcoming to everyone.

East London-based Erin Aniker is one of a collective of artists and illustrators enlisted around the world by American Express to design custom signage as part of The Artist Series. Each was tasked with creating artwork inspired by the phrase ‘Always Welcome: Proudly Backing Our Community Together’. The campaign forms part of American Express’ ongoing commitment to help customers feel welcome and accepted wherever they are.

The launch of the complimentary signage comes as independent research* of both consumers and small businesses emphasises the importance of merchants showing their commitment to acceptance.

A poll of 2,000 UK adults showed that almost two-thirds (65%) believe that when deciding where to shop, it’s important to know a store is welcoming for all. Six in 10 (61%) said it was one of the biggest factors in where they’d be shopping over the coming months, making it a more important factor than brand loyalty (45%).

A second study of 250 shop owners and managers showed that almost three-quarters (72%) said they’d made efforts to demonstrate they were welcoming to all. Erin Aniker’s design centres on the theme of communities coming together to support each other, using people of different backgrounds to create a physical support structure.


“My art is influenced by the community where I grew up, taking in the diverse cultures that make up the city. Local shops are such a huge part of that community and this collaboration with American Express has allowed me to create something visually engaging and impactful that communicates to people they are always welcome. Seeing the signs in-store is amazing, and I hope that when customers see them, they feel curious and want to come inside.”

The artist


Dan Edelman, Vice President and UK General Manager, Merchant Services, American Express, added: “In the UK, we’re continuing to grow the number of shops, restaurants and high street venues that accept American Express. We know our new and loyal merchants want to show their customers that they offer a welcoming environment, and Erin’s artwork is a brilliant, very visual way for them to demonstrate that shoppers can come in and immediately feel at ease.”

Merchants can order the custom, complimentary Always Welcome signage – including window stickers, ‘We’re Open’ signs and digital images – by visiting the American Express POP webstore.

American Express has a long history of championing small businesses including through its Shop Small campaign and long-standing support of Small Business Saturday which celebrated a decade in the UK in 2022. Last year, the company also launched Dine Local, part of its global Backing International Small Restaurants grant programme, established to support culturally significant, independent restaurants owned by individuals from underrepresented groups in major cities across the globe. The scheme saw 10 Brixton-based venues awarded a £5,000 grant for critical business improvements.

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