National Independents’ Day this year far exceeded the success of the two previous events, attracting TV, radio and press coverage which early estimates suggest reached 16 to 20 million people.
In addition the organisers estimate 35,000 independent retailers took part in activities to mark the day.
Monitoring of consumer media coverage for the day is not yet complete but the campaign hit many of its local media targets through regional commercial and BBC radio and TV.
This year the media emphasis was switched from national news programmes to regional and local media under a new strategy based on the belief that NID is a local story connecting local listeners and viewers to local situations.
Alan Toft, who chairs the FWD PR Action Group (PRAG) which drives the campaign, said: “We had a modest five- figure budget for the activity and we have created a massive amount of positive noise this year on behalf of independents.
“Cumulatively, since the launch of MSYS in 2004, the campaign has achieved millions of consumer hits with positive messages about sole traders and family businesses – the core customer base of every wholesaler in the UK.
“In addition, we are achieving our second objective of inspiring independent retailers to involve themselves to the maximum in their local communities as a big unique trading benefit.
“We have started out on a long-term plan to educate regional and local media on the value of local independents. These are local stories and we want local media to begin to understand our sector and its importance to their listeners and readers.”
He added: “On behalf of FWD, we thank supportive suppliers and wholesalers for the way in which they have backed NID this year.
“Our positive message of the value of independent retailers to their local communities has reached millions of consumers through the news media and promotional activity.
“This activity has had an impact one way or another on every cash and carry wholesale and delivered depot throughout the UK – with the money-off coupon promotion on 10 big brands being translated through to every retail customer together with the individual related activity set up by the wholesalers themselves.
“All this adds up to a trading benefit to the industry worth millions.
“This reflects very positively on the wholesaler and supplier representatives on PRAG, which meets in July and will be looking to create momentum to keep this campaign at the front of the industry.”
l See pages 10 and 22-25 for more coverage of NID.