Cutting transport costs, reducing food waste and getting daily exercise are among the benefits of walking to the local shop which will be celebrated on September 16, National Walk & Shop Day (NWSD).

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors' My Shop Is Your Shop (MSYS) team is encouraging retailers to get involved in the day and demonstrate the economic, ecological and health advantages of choosing local shops.

MSYS chairman Alan Toft said independent retailers should engage their customers on environmental issues.

"The day is about three big messages for customers," he said. "If they walk and shop they reduce CO2, and save petrol costs by ditching the car. And if they buy local for today, they avoid wasted food and money."

The campaign has issued a newsletter giving advice on how to make the most of the day. It explains how independents can involve local people, schools and institutions in activities which promote low carbon and money saving benefits under the theme of Think Global, Shop Local.

Toft added: "MSYS is about helping independents to use and engage with local media, their MP, schools, clubs and so on." The newsletter includes ideas for promotional activity linked to low CO2 and minimising food waste."

Geeta and Ranjit Doal, who own a Lifestyle Express store in Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire, plan to mark the day with a dinner and dance, and said customer support was strong.

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