In addition to providing money-off coupons, which were printed in The Sun, The Scottish Sun and The Liverpool Echo, many leading suppliers also showed their support for National Independents’ Week by mobilising executives and sales teams to help out retailers in their stores.
Paul Lees, Heinz UK Ireland VP sales spent time on Friday 5 June helping Jagat Daudhar at his convenience store in Cowley, Oxford. He said: “Independent retailers, like Jagat Daudhar, play a vital role in servicing their local communities. Heinz is delighted to be taking part in National Independents’ Week again. We are committed to helping retailers in this channel maximise their profit opportunities by providing great products and NPD that create value for their shoppers.”
GlaxoSmithKline’s category task force visited stores across the UK, giving retailers simple, practical advice to help them grow sales and better meet the needs of their local communities.
Scott Meredith, trading controller at GSK, said: “Our category task force activity was set up specifically to help support the National Independents’ Week and the My Shop is Your Shop initiative. Independent stores are integral to their local communities and we are committed to helping them get the basics right so that they can better meet the needs of their shoppers. Ravi Kaushal, store owner at Premier Burlington News in Chiswick, said: “I was really pleased to be visited by the GSK task force and join in the My Shop is Your Shop initiative. Soft drinks sell so quickly when the weather is hot and thanks to the GSK task force my soft drinks category is now well organised ready for summer.”
Molson Coors was another company which backed up its coupon offer with visits to stores. About 20 people including territory business managers, national account managers and marketing staff visited stores across the country calling in on retailers.
Channel director Tom Maclennan visited Geeta and Channy Doal, owners of Lifestyle Express in Wheaton, South Staffordshire.
He said: “This is the second year we have been involved in NIW. Last year we had a money-off coupon for Coors Light and this year we had one for Carling pints, and staff from head office also helped out in stores.”
Members of Imperial Tobacco’s staff were also showing their support for independent retailers with visits to local stores. Rob Groves, national account executive at Imperial Tobacco, chose to work at his local independent store Super News, at Westbury on Trym, in Bristol, where he had first hand experience of the contribution that Satish Patel’s store makes to his local community.
Rob commented: “Having worked on the relationship between Imperial Tobacco and the NFRN, I have a deep understanding of the everyday challenges faced by independent retailers. I am extremely passionate about supporting independents and am delighted to be involved in National Independents’ Week. The personal and friendly service for which independents are renowned is often overlooked and it is important for the UK to maintain a vibrant independent retail trade.”
JTI sales force representatives and senior staff members donned their yellow ‘Local and Proud’ T-shirts and helped to run some of the events and activities taking place.
In support of NIW, JTI’s 225-strong sales force have been handing out over 40,000 leaflets informing retailers across the country about the benefits of taking part in NIW.
Paul Williams, head of corporate affairs and communications UK at JTI, commented: “National Independents’ Week is a great opportunity for the UK’s independent retailers to highlight their vital role in the community.
“JTI is delighted to give its support to such a worthy campaign.”