MSYS gears up for its biggest year ever

The February meeting of the FWD PR Action Group (PRAG) at Oxford will agree final plans for what activists believe will be the biggest programme yet for the My Shop is Your Shop (MSYS) campaign.

Alan Toft, MSYS originator and chairman, said: “2009 will be the year of challenge but we have the big ideas to demonstrate to the consumer that local stores are the places to offer money-saving value and climate change benefits.”

Among the new ideas is the concept of Community In-store Forums where retailers will invite their local MP, police, councillors and officials, church leaders and school head teachers to discuss local issues. These will take place in the shop with local shoppers leading the debate.

“Too often this has been a fragmented activity but we will put down a uniform proposition so that the debate achieves scale nationally,” said Toft.

Media training and marketing skills seminars for retailers, sponsored by Gallaher, will increase – four are planned with the first on March 25.

The Daily Mirror and Daily Record (Scotland) money-off coupon feature for National Independents’ Week will return.

National Cuppa Day will be developed to achieve greater scale. Sponsors Tetley Tea and United Biscuits have agreed promotional plans and price offers, and wholesalers and non-competing suppliers will be invited to hand out free tea and biscuits in stores.

Wholesalers are boosting their involvement. Makro is featuring Walk Shop in its promotional bulletins and the Bestway retailer guide will promote MSYS in every issue. Costco will also promote the “bigger and better MSYS for 09″ message.

Booker is sponsoring a retailer competition in February to find the top UK retailer eco-warrior. Winners will receive big money prizes that will reduce their bill at any Booker cash and carry.

The Sugro group has plans for promoting MSYS as a business-booster for independents and Landmark Wholesale will feature the Walk Shop campaign in its promotional activity.

l For more see pages 18-19

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