The first ever National Independents’ Week (NIW), which will start on June 4, will be the biggest ever wholesaler/independent promotional event, say campaign planners.
Record numbers of independent retailers are expected to participate following the FWD’s decision to extend the former one-day event to a week.
The My Shop Is Your Shop campaign, which is driving the activity, has constructed a re-energised agenda to boost seven days of activity in June. New from the campaign is a big brand, four-colour coupon promotion feature in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record (Scotland) to be published on June 1st, replacing the old black and white NID special.
Also new this year is a plan for a string of street parties throughout the country to provide media coverage and photo-opportunities – and give local communities a fun evening.
Another new initiative is a retailer-inspired idea for cash and carry depots to appoint a member of staff as the MSYS Champion to motivate retailers. A special T-shirt is available to ProWholesaler readers.
Again in 2007, MSYS will be awarding prizes of cash for local community projects to independent retailers with the best in-store theatre or other creative ideas implemented in NIW.
Wholesalers have informed MSYS of special activities that are being planned to reinforce the campaign at retail level – part of their confidential plans for NIW which are now being communicated to their retailers.
Suppliers are being encouraged to boost their involvement following the decision by Constellation Wines to arrange a limited number of in-store wine tastings during NIW by sales personnel.
Media training will again feature in the MSYS campaign. Nominated retailers will be coached into making the most of media interview opportunities during NIW. The retailers will be meeting in a hotel in Birmingham just before NIW to train on camera and in sound. Professional broadcasters will be the coaches.
As part of the planned national consumer media PR campaign breaking on June 4, retailers throughout the UK could be approached by local press, radio and TV to tell the story of their local shop and how it serves the local community.
Campaign organisers are seeking case studies of successful independent c-stores, newsagents and rural shops about which the media can be informed during NIW (email these to email@example.com, subject: Case studies).
MSYS was launched in 2004 by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors to fill a vacuum caused by the absence of a positive consumer PR campaign supporting independents.
Alan Toft, MSYS chairman, said: “The decision to go to a week has ignited the sector. We are getting very positive feedback from the trade and planning a record-breaking week of support for sole traders and family businesses.”
l See pages 10 and 18-19