from Steve Parfett, chairman, Landmark cash & carry group

Sir; This week witnessed the first important steps in building awareness of the important part that independent retailers play in their local communities.
Perhaps surprisingly in some eyes, National Independents’ Day was not about knocking the multiples, but telling the untold story of convenient retailing in local communities.
The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has recognised this is an area of common interest for us all and true independents want and expect wholesalers to help make their voice heard.
We have been preparing for this important day for several months with staff briefings, posters, banners, badges and stickers, as well as letters to MPs and local press.
Most importantly of all, we have been identifying and highlighting the part local stores play in fulfilling community needs, whether it be charity fundraising, drying socks for Pennine Way walkers, a taxi service to the doctors, delivering furniture, or just making local deliveries every week to those unable to get out.
On June 1, we started ensuring that these feelgood stories reach a wider audience. We marked the event in Parfetts
depots with massive cakes, celebrity appearances, a town crier, and plenty of celebration.
Similarly our customers grasped the opportunity to celebrate with their customers. This unique campaign has now been launched with a fanfare.
We need to build on the awareness generated and ensure we maintain the momentum.
I have no doubt that National Independents’ Day should and will become an annual event to celebrate true community retailing.
To do this we intend to continue the ‘My Shop is Your Shop, local and proud of it’ theme throughout this year.