Convenience store owners are finalising their planned events for National Independents' Week (NIW) on June 4-10, including street parties, school visits and promotions.
Londis retailer Sunder Sandher of Leamington Spa told C-Store: "Last year I had a dalek to attract customers. He'll be back again this year, along with cybermen. We'll also have live music and I'm sending VIP invitations to all my customers."
Leslie Brown of Frankmarsh Stores, Barnstaple, Devon, is planning a different theme for each day of the week, including a recycling event, a local produce promotion and a schools' day.
Suppliers and symbol groups are playing their part in promoting the event. Dee Sedani, who owns a Londis store in Etwall, Derbyshire, has contacted his suppliers to provide lucky-dip prizes for customers who spend more than £10 in his store.
Musgrave Budgens Londis (MBL) acting marketing director Ross Halliday recommends retailers invite their MP and local newspaper to attend NIW events. "It's good to be able to shout about stores that are putting life back into our communities - and what better way of doing that than to invite your local MP to come and see what you're doing," he said. MBL is distributing a retailer tool kit, and template letters to MPs and newspapers can be downloaded from the group's websites.
My Shop is Your Shop chairman Alan Toft told C-Store that the campaign's helpline had been deluged with calls from store owners wanting the free NIW T-shirt package. "Any readers who are independent and still haven't got the kit, which includes shirts, caps, balloons, stickers and shelf-
talkers, should phone 0161 440 2789 and leave their full address," he said.

We'll help pay for your party

Retailers who are organising events for National Independents' Week could get a £100 boost towards the cost of their celebrations, thanks to Convenience Store.
Tell us your plans for the week (June 4-10) and we will send a cheque for £100 to the first five submissions we receive which can show details of a community-based event or programme of events to mark National Independents' Week, and plans to involve local media, MPs, dignitaries or celebrities.
We will also ask you to provide photographs of the event for publication in Convenience Store.
To be considered for the £100 donation towards the cost of your NIW event, call Dave Visick on 01293 846505, or email with an outline of your plans. Details must be submitted by May 18, 2007.