Members of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) were thrilled at the media coverage for National Independents Day (NID) on June 1.

Chairman of the My Shop is Your Shop campaign Alan Toft said: “Our PR consultants Nexus estimated the national media coverage on TV, radio and national and local press achieved about 18 million ‘consumer hits’ on the day itself - three times more than the first one, in 2004. But it’s too early to evaluate fully the total impact of the media coverage and the money-off coupon promotion in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record.”

He added: “We have to thank the large number of independents who told us they would use National Independents Day to make some impact in their shops too.”

Boosted by the May 27 money-off coupon promotion on leading brands in the Daily Mirror and, in Scotland, the Daily Record, consumers tuned into six TV channels, 16 BBC regional and commercial radio stations to learn about the campaign, as well as reading retailer stories in eight regional newspapers. Radio 5 Live Breakfast also featured discussions about the event. There was TV news coverage on BBC 1, ITV, Channel 5 and Grampian, with interviews from Nisa retailers Kishor Patel and C-Store’s Top Shop 2004 winner Atul Amin.

Jonathan James, who owns four Budgens stores in Cambridgeshire, was interviewed for BBC1 Breakfast, which he said was “fantastically good coverage for the store”. He said: “The interviewer asked if my store was cheaper than Tesco, but I said you had to look at the whole package, including the service we offer to theheart of the community. The TV people called me later and said if there were any debates on local retailers, they’d contact me for my opinions.”

Alan Fincham, who owns the Londis store in Attleborough, Norfolk, donned a Darth Vader suit and his staff dressed up as cartoon characters. “It was a fun day and the customers loved it,” said Alan.