David Cameron and the yellow MSYS T-shirt

What’s a giant Easter Egg got to do with David Cameron? It’s this: as the Bank Holiday approaches independents can feature a giant egg in store to raffle for charity as a promotional feature.

And just as valuable promotionally in their local community, Dennis and Mollie Ingrey were featured in The Mail on Sunday photographed with the probable next Prime Minister.

The link is not as tenuous as you might think. Both the giant Easter egg idea and David Cameron’s visit to the Ingrey’s store in Stanton St John, in Oxfordshire, are My Shop is Your Shop inspirations.

The leader of the opposition and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, visited the Ingreys in National Independents’ Week last year. They were met with a full frontal message on the iconic MSYS yellow T-shirt, ‘Local and proud of it’.

How could they miss the message? It’s a valuable seed in the Cameron mind-set.

More than 4.5 million readers of The Mail on Sunday saw the picture of the visit in the January 18th issue this year, when the paper reported that two armed robbers looking for post office cash were unaware that this section of the shop had been closed by the Government (inset).

The post office part closed six months ago despite the protests of Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson.

The robbers realised their mistake and ran off with pound;500 in cash from the till and a handful of cigarettes. Police are searching for the criminals.

Easter Egg feature

Ideas are the currency of the MSYS campaign which continues to prove its ‘how to’ credentials instead of ‘let’s talk about it’ alternatives.

The giant Easter egg aspect of community involvement arises from the MSYS media training and marketing skills seminars, sponsored by Gallaher, and attended by Londis retailer Julian Taylor-Green.

Julian will feature a giant Easter Egg in his Hampshire store to raffle in aid of the local hospital. He will inform the local media – as a result of attending the media seminar he has broken into the local press.

“The egg provides a great promotional feature for the shop. It’s about two and a half feet high and the retail value is about pound;100. It’s a big community talking point,” he said.

Many independent retailers could follow this simple yet effective idea, communicating good vibrations to the local community and demonstrating the store owners’ belief in the business and their ability to be there for customers even in crunch time.

== Logos on the T-shirt ==

For the first time ever, MSYS gave big brands the opportunity to feature in store with their logo on the reverse side of the campaign T-shirt during a national celebration.

This again was a MSYS creative idea which gives suppliers, with a genuine interest in supporting the wholesale/independent sector, an opportunity to achieve awareness in thousands of local shops during National Independents’ Week (June lst) and, of course, at many other times.

The T-shirts are good quality items which have longer wearing qualities than cheaper lines. MSYS took a decision to avoid cheap T-shirts in order to achieve more wear and more brand exposure.

The T-shirts are part of the NIW special in-store kits, which also include stickers, balloons and POS. Thousands of retailers phone in to order the kits.

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=== PREMIER JOHN’S NIW PLAN ===

John and Jenny Mainwood, who own the Booker Premier at Seddlescombe, in East Sussex, are aiming for new higher levels of community involvement for NIW 09 which starts on June lst.

They will involve as many local organisations as they can, providing a free tea party and making use of the local playing field and its new sports pavilion.

Former bank manager John said: “We will ask organisations to run various fun activities such as kids versus parents stoolball – a local game – plus fun races, a treasure hunt and barbecue.”

MSYS has published a guide on hosting a street party which can be downloaded from [http://www.myshopisyourshop.co.uk]

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=== FIFTY MSYS IDEAS FOR local shops ===

Many retailers will already be using ideas contained in this document, but it will be useful as a checklist.

1: Home delivery to aged and infirm

2: Free glass loan for local functions

3: Sale or return food and drinks for local community functions

4: Prescription pick up service

5: Parcel acceptance point for families out at work

6: Community display board to promote local events

7: Discounts for local groups catering activities

8: Fax and copying facilities

9: List of local trades people to help in emergency

10: Local Christmas card pick up and distribution point

11: Organised collection point shoe repair/dry cleaning service

12: Tune in to and support local school

13: Gift wrap service for wine, chocolates

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