With national newspaper and radio coverage (see right), the good news about local shops was taken to more than 10 million people on consumer media alone in National Independents’ Week, says the FWD My Shop is Your Shop campaign.
Reports of NIW activities in independent stores throughout the country were still coming in as the week ended to add to a final evaluation.
Alan Toft, MSYS chairman, said: “In contrast to the messages of doom usually associated with media coverage of the independent sector, the news to consumers about local shops last week was good and positive.
“The coverage in The Sun, The Scottish Sun and The Liverpool Echo in the money-off coupon advertorials on May 29 will have been seen by more than seven million readers, and we have coverage in regional press that is now being collated.
“Then we had more than three million listeners hearing the positive news of the return by local families to their independent newsagents, c-stores and rural shops on the radio.
“The strong point made about the resurgence of the grocery sector in independents was crucial – it would alert more consumers who may not have got the new ‘local’ habit yet.
“All this is only possible on the generic sector-wide marketing platform created by MSYS and enthusiastically supported by suppliers, wholesalers and independent retailers themselves.
“Shops throughout the country put on their own parties, fun days and Cuppa days where they handed out free cups of tea and biscuits. If we add the impact of the message to consumers on the yellow ‘Local and proud of it’ T-shirts again worn in their thousands by independents during the week, we are looking at some considerable scale, yet the campaign is still in its infancy.”
Booker’s head of Premier and retail development Steve Fox’s first impression of the week was positive. “The MSYS campaign and NIW gets better and better,” he commented.
Toft added: “We expect that high levels of support activity by wholesalers and promotional support by suppliers have been reflected at retail level.
“We had to cut back some support aspects this year due to recession-hit budgets and late commitments from supporting suppliers, but our core support remains firm and the overall umbrella MSYS provided for the week was a credit to the FWD PR Action Group (PRAG) which drives the campaign.
“We have received reports of some excellent National Cuppa Day activities following free pack promotions at wholesale level by sponsors Tetley Tea, McVitie’s and Tate amp; Lyle.”
l See News Extra page 10