The centrepiece of the My Shop is Your Shop (MSYS) campaign, National Independents' Day, was brought to life by retailers across the country pushing the community message on June 1.
MSYS organisers estimate some 35,000 independent retailers were involved in some way in NID 2006, and hailed the day as the most successful to date.
A total of 4,000 retailers added colour to the day by wearing special T-shirts and caps and decorating their stores with balloons and stickers from free NID kits.
Demand for the kits exceeded supply, forcing NID bosses to despatch them on a first-come, first-serve basis. Retailers left disappointed will remain on the campaign database for future activities.
The day was given a timely boost as money-off vouchers and profiles of independent retailers featured in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record. West Bromwich Nisa Local's Atul Amin, Middlesex Londis retailer Atul Sodha and Burgess Stores owner John Maxwell Jones from Kent were among those highlighted in the four-page pullout.
On the day, events ranged from football tournaments to beer and cider tasting. While Londis retailer Steve Morris became the Shrewsbury Town mascot, Lenny the Lion, for the day, the Daleks invaded Sunder Sandher's store in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
MSYS chairman Alan Toft was pleased with the achievements of the 2006 campaign and said: "The day exceeded all expectations. We have a modest five-figure budget for the activity and have created a massive amount of positive noise. Since the launch of MSYS in 2004, the campaign has achieved millions of consumer hits with positive messages about sole traders and family businesses. We are also achieving another objective of inspiring independent retailers to involve themselves to the maximum in their local communities."