Suppliers taking NIW opportunity

Major suppliers are backing the first ever National Independents’ Week (NIW) commencing June 4th with special activity. But campaigners are seeking more support by suppliers through wholesalers.

The week of celebration replaces the initial National Independents’ Day, the successful impact of which resulted in the Federation of Wholesale Distributors extending it to a week.

As the centrepiece of the FWD My Shop Is Your Shop campaign, NIW gives suppliers, wholesalers and retailers a broader platform on which the value of the sole trader and family business to the community can be celebrated.

Independent c-stores, newsagents and rural shops will soon be invited to apply for the special kits of T-shirts, caps, balloons and stickers to help them mark the week with their own in-store theatre.

Campaign chairman Alan Toft said: “I have been made aware that some key suppliers are coming in to support the week with special activity.

“They cannot reveal their plans at the moment But we hope that more manufacturers will convert the promotions for wholesalers already in the pipeline into an NIW package.”

Two new NIW manuals are on the verge of being published. One is a list of 50 ideas on how independents can maximise their involvement with the local community and the other is a guide to the campaign for cash and carry depot managers.

The FWD PR Action Group (PRAG), consisting of suppliers, wholesalers and retailers will hold its next meeting on February 27 by invitation at the Lutterworth offices of Foster’s EMEA, winner of the 2006 Federation Drinks Gold Medal for its Wolf Blass wine brand.

Premier Foods is now a member of PRAG, which was formed by Toft as a unique cross-industry body to organise MSYS as the only positive generic consumer and trade PR campaign promoting independents as an essential part of the community.

PRAG is driving the campaign and NIW and expects to get many final details hammered out at this meeting.

l See pages 10 and 22-23

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