>>Impressive clout of national independents’ day

It is rare to find a real case of collaboration in this industry, despite the incessant talk about it. But this week there was proof that rivals can come together for the greater good - and make a difference.

The second National Independents’ Day saw normally adversarial wholesalers, symbol groups and suppliers working together to highlight the vital contribution of the independent retailing sector to local communities.

The initiative gained exposure on all the terrestrial TV stations as well as across regional radio and press. And the coupon promotion in The Mirror not only enticed consumers into their local stores but also galvanised independent retailers, who inundated the Federation of Wholesale Distributors with calls of support.

It all goes to show that if you harness the power of the collective, you can effect change. It would have been hard for the likes of a Booker, Palmer & Harvey or Spar to have achieved this impact alone, regardless of their size.

Despite press reports to the contrary, NID is not about survival, it’s about showing that independent retailers can thrive and prosper. The machine supporting these retailers is a mighty one - and never more so than when its components come together in a unified voice.

The key now is to ensure it doesn’t lose this voice. NID shows what a well-thought-out marketing campaign can achieve. While lobbying will, and should, continue, the sector cannot pin all its hopes on future legislation. It’s time to stop merely baying and start marketing.

strength in a day of unity
unwelcome ingredient