Keeping on the pulse of independent retail.

3 November 2020

We have a wide network of leading convenience retailers and chat with them regularly to ensure the content we create for our clients is relevant and cut through in a competitive FMCG market.

In a year that has seen the sector change dramatically, and as we plan our strategy for clients for the 12 months ahead, we spoke to a few well-known industry names in independent retail to find out how they consume news and what they think of trade media now...

Amrit Pahal, Nisa Local, High Heath

“The way I read trade media and stay up to date on what’s happening in the industry has changed a lot in the last 12-18 months. Like many retailers that I know, updates are often shared amongst ourselves via WhatsApp groups first and foremost, and I scan on social media for embedded articles and breaking news. The store is busier than ever, and time is of course so limited, but when I do have five minutes to myself, I love to sit and properly read a few of the key trade magazines in more detail.

“We want to hear from brands in trade media, and it’s important that we are represented well there and hearing what works from other retailers as well as from brands. If companies are serious about engaging us on another level, we also expect direct contact, honest and open conversations around products and how we might work together in a long-term partnership.”

Sid Sidhu, Budgens Kenilworth, Warwickshire

“I need and want to really stay in tune with what’s happening, so I get lots of news online and direct from social media. I’ll often read headline stories and digital copies of magazines to take snippets of information throughout the day. Whereas a decade ago (and for the last 30 years) physical media was the only way we got information, the world is now our oyster and I see the role of digital only getting more pivotal with a new generation of younger, tech savvy retailers coming through in the industry. We’re moving forward in leaps and bounds – it’s an exciting channel to work in right now.

“That’s not to say that print isn’t still important for us – I know many independent retailers who will still read copies front to back week in and week out. For me, I do take time to read through in more detail when headlines really catch my eye.”

Atul Sodha, Londis Harefield, Uxbridge

“I find trade media a good tool on two fronts. Online keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the industry, whilst the print magazine delivered to the store help my staff with category merchandising and keeps them abreast of the latest new products and developments. It’s getting busier than ever before, so having a magazine to hand is really helpful when you do have a few minutes spare.”

While there are many exciting methods on the horizon, for example direct to retailer comms via wholesale apps, we’re pleased that trade media is still very much a key tool for ourselves, and brands, to communicate with retailers.

It is of course a time of change for the media landscape, with digital news outlets seeing record number of visitors at the beginning of lockdown and less people reaching for a physical print copy. While some trade publications have moved to digital-only offerings, print media remains a very important part of the mix, with many titles evolving the focus and purpose of their print editions to compliment the digital pages.

We’ve teamed up with Newtrade Media and KAM Media to commission a new report on what life after lockdown will look like for independent retailers and how brands should be communicating with this channel. Want to find out more and see how we can help your brand? Get in touch today at hello@mercieca.co.uk

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