Wholesalers promised to “make it better every year” after generating a fanfare of publicity to mark the first National Independents’ Day this week.

Independent retailers and wholesalers decked out their stores and depots with decorations and organised special events to mark June 1, and many featured on TV programmes and local radio stations.

Costco trading director Francis Ball reported that Costco had seen a positive reaction from retailers shopping at its 15 UK depots.

He said: “I think the event concentrated the minds of store owners themselves, as well as drawing attention to the vital role that the independent retailer plays in the community.”

Parfetts cash and carry managing director Steve Parfett said Parfetts had given out 8,000
window sticker packs to retailers shopping at its depots in the run up to June 1.

It laid on events in every depot as part of a splash on the day. For example, the Halifax rugby league team got involved in celebrations in Halifax.

Parfett said next time round more emphasis would be given to building awareness of the event with politicians. He said: “If I am disappointed with anything it’s the level of interest from members of Parliament. But it’s the start rather than the end, and we will build on it and make it better each year.”

Nisa-Today’s also deemed Independents’ Day a success with good participation by retailers in promotions.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors, which co-ordinated the campaign, said it was already planning next year’s.

Director general Alan Toft said: “National Independents' Day has now been established for ever in the grocery trade calendar on June 1.

“It’s the localness of our campaign which hit the spot.”

In total, more than 50,000 independent retailers received special promotions from participating wholesalers to mark the day, he said.

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Anne Bruce