As an essential hub of the community, convenience store owners have an unparalleled understanding of the needs of their communities. Find out how big brands are working with them to bolster their community impact.

It’s no secret that over the last few years, convenience stores across the UK have become an even more pivotal part of their local communities.

Not only do they ensure that residents have access to essential items, but they’re also actively involved in supporting their local communities through various initiatives. Latest insights show that 79% of independent retailers engaged in some form of community activity in the past year [ACS], with 62% collecting money for a national or local charity and 36% donating to food banks [ACS].

The importance of community is crucial for local shops. It encourages repeat business and greater customer loyalty as shoppers feel more connected to a store and its owners. Those who are actively involved in their community also have a better understanding of the needs and preferences of their customer base, allowing them to tailor products and services to meet local demand.

As a trusted supplier, Walkers is always looking for ways to support retailers. Understanding the importance of community and coupled with a shared vision of giving back to retailers, the brand partnered with Bestway last year to launch a festive promotion in which three retailers received a £500 cash prize, plus an extra £1,000 donation each to any UK registered charity of their choice. 

To enter, retailers simply had to purchase two cases of Walkers or Sensations limited-edition festive flavours in-depot or online at Bestway and text in for their chance to win. The promotion provided retailers with the opportunity to deepen their community ties, while helping them to drive their savoury snack sales during one of the busiest times of the year.

Giving back to charity and the community

One of the promotion winners was Amrit Kaur, from MAAN Newsagent in Halesowen. Amrit used the £1,000 charity donation to give back to two organisations that mean a great deal not only to her and her family, but also to the wider community. She says: “We are incredibly grateful to have been selected as one of the winners of this promotion and were absolutely thrilled that the prize included a charity element.

“We didn’t even need to think about which charities we would be choosing. My father served in the army, so I was keen to donate half of the prize to the Royal British Legion, which does so much to support the Armed Forces community. The other half went to the Royal National Institute of Blind People. A representative from the charity regularly visits our shop to carry out collections and we wanted to support the important work that they do in helping those who are visually impaired.

“It means so much to us that we were able to spread our own bit of festive cheer to the causes that matter most to us.”

Amrit outside of store cropped 1

Alongside the charity donation, Amrit used her £500 cash prize to spread even more festive cheer throughout her community by giving back to her shoppers during the holiday period. She spent a portion of the prize money on Christmas chocolates and selection boxes for shoppers to enjoy when visiting the store, as well as flowers to brighten the days of a few of her regular elderly customers that she provides delivery services to, to show appreciation for their custom and thank them for their loyalty.

Nic Storey, senior sales director, impulse & field sales at PepsiCo, explains why he and the brand see it as a priority to champion the crucial role convenience stores play within their communities: “Over the last few years especially, retailers have become even more essential hubs of their communities.

“They work tirelessly to give back, so we wanted to take the opportunity to do something for them by partnering with Bestway to support retailers during one of their busiest times.”

Storey continues: “December is the biggest snacking moment of year, with the savoury snacks category dominated by sharing formats [NielsenIQ] as people come together to connect and socialise.

“We also know that PMPs account for 68% of total savoury snacking growth [Nielsen], so we made sure the promotion focused on sharing and PMP formats across our festive range. This allowed retailers to maximise the opportunity and drive sales in store during the holiday season.”

Convenience stores have always played an important role within their local communities, and this has never been more the case than during the last few years. This initiative from Walkers is one of the many ways in which the brand aims to support retailers, while acknowledging and supporting the role they play within their communities.

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