The real community retailers

BY?JOHN?WOOD

When a retailer as powerful and, it has to be admitted, as successful as Tesco tries to jump onto your bandwagon you just know you are onto something good.

So when the multinational giant suddenly announced it was going to focus on communities and be a good neighbour, just days before National Independents’ Day, it demonstrated how powerful the concept has become.

But the organisers of NID didn’t need any endorsement from Tesco; their vindication came on June 1 when thousands of independent retailers, and wholesalers, turned the day into a celebration of what real local community retailing is all about.

There were no head office edicts about how staff were supposed to behave, just a spontaneous reaction from retailers who are part of their local community and know their customers and what they want.

Independent retailers don’t have to send press releases to national newspapers saying they are turning over a new leaf and intend to be good neighbours in future. They already are the good neighbours who help somebody out if they are going through a bad spell, or deliver a prescription for somebody who can’t get out, as the report on page 23 confirms.

In the past this may have been taken for granted by their local community, but not any more. NID and its motto “Local and proud of it” has struck a chord with the public, and with the hundreds of journalists who sensed a good local story.

NID also occurred at just the right time to remind customers about local stores in the run up to a major, global event. Apologies to anyone who hoped ProWholesaler might be a sanctuary where they could forget about football for a few minutes, but the World Cup is the biggest opportunity wholesalers are going to get this side of Christmas.

I know all my Scottish, Welsh, and Irish friends are just as excited as I am (although some appear to be supporting some very obscure teams), so let’s hope the heatwave continues and look forward to some fantastic sales figures, no matter who wins.

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