Champions to promote NIW

Wholesalers throughout the UK were putting the finishing touches to their activity in support of the first ever National Independents’ Week (NIW) as ProWholesaler went to press.

In a major new development, more than 200 cash and carry depots will appoint a MSYS Champion, identified by a special T-shirt, who will urge retailers to participate in the campaign.

Executives from the wholesale industry are also demonstrating their personal support for the campaign. Booker’s chief executive Charles Wilson will be helping out in-store in Barnstaple with independent Lesley Brown during NIW (see page 20), and Landmark’s marketing director Chris Rose will be at work in a Hot House retail store. Parfetts’ managing director Steve Parfett will be visiting stores and managers from the company will be spending a day in a customer’s shop.

Nisa-Today’s said it was planning for executives to work in the field and Bestway included NIW in presentations at its May retailer seminars. CJ Lang and Key Lekkerland are also supporting NIW. Costco and Makro are also highlighting NIW.

On June 1 the Daily Mirror and Daily Record will contain coupons with money-off 12 big grocery brands, redeemable only at independent shops. There will also be editorial coverage of retailers who are supporting their local community in various ways.

Thousands of independent retailers are expected to apply for the free NIW in-store theatre T-shirt kits, which they can use to demonstrate their independent status during the week.

My Shop is Your Shop has issued a protocol giving guidance on how to organise a successful street party.

Alan Toft, MSYS chairman, said: “Over the past few weeks we have been aware of an increasing interest by retailers in MSYS. The level of interest has been accelerating so we are anticipating a good week for independents.

“Our message to wholesalers and retailers is to inform the local media – TV, radio and press – of any activity taking place in local shops. Don’t be shy.”

NIW runs from June 4-10.

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