Wholesalers provide record boost for NIW

Major wholesalers focused on supporting their independent customers have taken their involvement in the FWD My Shop is Your Shop centrepiece of National Independents’ Week (NIW) to record levels. The big celebration begins on June 1st.

MSYS chairman Alan Toft told ProWholesaler that additional commitment by the National Federation of Wholesale Newsagents, plus the Rural Shops Alliance and more wholesaler activity, gave the campaign intensive coverage of every independent c-store, newsagent and rural shop in the UK.

“It’s now down to independent retailer activists to use the NIW platform to promote their localness to their local community,” he added.

Wholesale support is headed by Landmark Wholesale and Booker with money-off coupons on big own label brands in national media – pound;1 off Eridge Vale Cider by Landmark and a free can of Euro Shopper Energy Drink by Booker.

Toft commented: “The sector is holding up very well in the economic gloom but retailers will welcome all the positive promotional and marketing help they can get to maintain sales. NIW is established as a footfall driver for local shops which did not exist before and wholesalers and suppliers increasingly recognise it.

“We welcome the commitment of NFRN and RSA which gives us massive additional coverage of their membership. Every potential independent participant in the land is covered by our network.”

In addition to wholesale support, more suppliers than ever have committed to deploy staff to work in-store during the week. These include JTI, Imperial Tobacco, CCE, Scottish Newcastle, Molson Coors, Britvic, Buxton Water, Nestl eacute;, Dairy Crest, Cadbury, Diageo, Heinz, GSK, Walkers, McVitie’s, Tetley Tea and Tate Lyle.

The Booker support programme includes every branch manager and retail development manager working in customers’ shops on Cuppa Day. MSYS Champions will be selected from staff to brief retailers, there will be a generic press release for retailers to send to their local media and an MSYS promotion in retailer house magazines.

Landmark’s senior retail controller Raj Krishnan said the group’s wholesalers will be promoting own brands in an intensive NIW support programme. This includes posters, shelf talkers, balloons, depot champion T-shirts for member depots, and there will be a special incentive bonus for the best MSYS decorated depots.

Sugro has nominated 300 retailers to take part in National Cuppa Day. Costco will have an extended meet and greet Cuppa operation with free cups of tea for customers in branches during NIW.

Bestway has promoted MSYS and NIW continuously through its retailer bulletins and will highlight the campaign at retailer seminars in May and at briefing meetings for area managers.

Londis will launch its 50th anniversary celebrations during NIW. Makro has promoted MSYS in retailer bulletins and trade press reader competitions. Parfetts will again put more resource into the week.

The Sun and The Scottish Sun on May 29 will feature money-off coupons to be redeemed at local shops.

Samantha Allen, News International’s trade marketing manager, said: “Over 50% of our newspaper sales are driven through independent retailers so it’s important that we work closely with the MSYS campaign.”

The Liverpool region will see the coupon offers in the Liverpool Echo giving the area its own local promotional momentum.

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