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 team, which also organises National Independents Week, is encouraging retailers to get involved in the day and demonstrate the economic, ecological and health advantages of choosing local shops over out-of-town supermarkets.

MSYS chairman Alan Toft said independent retailers should engage their customers on environmental issues which have been high on the government and media agenda in recent months.

“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, the mayor, their MP, schools, clubs and so on. The newsletter includes ideas for promotional activity linked to low carbon and saving money by avoiding food waste.” 

The campaign suggests setting up simple ideas and promotions in conjunction with day. Geeta and Ranjit Doal, who own a Lifestyle Express store in Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire, plan to mark the day with a dinner and dance in the village hall, which will involve a specially-composed ‘walk dance.’ Geeta said customers had already started to support the idea of leaving your car at home and walking to the shop.

“NWSD is another step in promoting your community links,” Toft added.

Download the NWSD newsletter and POS material from