Street parties, tasting sessions and fun days have been held the length and breadth of the country this week to mark National Independents' Week.

The event, which runs until tomorrow, is being supported by independent c-store and CTN owners, as well as 11 leading wholesalers and 12 major suppliers.

The first-ever National Cuppa Day was held on Tuesday with retailers encouraged to invite shoppers in for a tea and a chat. Tetley GB, which sponsored the event with McVitie's, increased its production run to 120,000 cases with a six-for-the-price-of-five wholesaler offer. McVitie's said sales of its everyday biscuits, which were also on wholesale offer, were up 67% year-on-year during the period.

"Heavy rain discouraged some customers but we had a great day and we will repeat it next year," said Lisa Jones, a Best One Express retailer from Southampton. "More than 60 customers enjoyed a cuppa and biscuits and a chat. It's a great way of demonstrating our customer-friendly policy."

There was intense activity across the country in preparation for National Cuppa Day, added organiser Alan Toft. "We will consult with the sponsors and the MSYS campaign committee on how we can develop this marvellous opportunity for independents to demonstrate just how different they are from the multiples, which could not put Cuppa Day in the same genuine community context."

The week was also flagged up in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record newspapers, which ran articles on the week and printed £3.10 worth of money-off vouchers for readers to redeem at their local store.