Have we under-estimated the rise and rise of discounters? I say we ignore them at our peril. When there’s a squeeze on the nation’s purses and wallets, the queues at Lidl and Aldi will get longer. There is something strangely compelling about the shopping experience they provide with their strange brand names, low prices and amazing non food value.

The MSYS October School Month will bring the independent retailer closer to local primary and junior schools through its ‘Create a Character’ competition, and with so many children still taking packed lunches to school every day, the in-store promotional emphasis on healthy eating aimed directly at mums is a great idea. Over pound;2,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to schools so we’ll be encouraging our retail customers to participate and to make early contact with schools in their vicinity.

I am of two minds over the Carlsberg Lager and Tetley Beer’s free pound;25 on-line bet promotion with Coral. Carlsberg marketing people say it offers consumers increased enjoyment of their chosen sports – others might think it simply promotes gambling. I much prefer its pound;5.99 price-marked eight-pack.

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