Pro-retail is the biggest trade show in the grocery industry, offering retailers the oppor-unity to see the largest gathering of grocery suppliers under one roof.

Over over 200 suppliers and more than 6,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s show at the Inter-national Centre in Telford on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April.

The theme for this year’s event, the 34th Pro-retail, is ‘Fit to Compete’ to tie in with this year’s sporting events – the UEFA European Championship to the Olympic Games in Rio.

Show organiser Palmer and Har-vey is encouraging retailers to be the best they can be in an increasingly competitive environment.

Not only this, this sporting summer is a major opportunity for retailers to sell products for consumers watch-ing the games at home, who will be stocking up on food and alcohol.

Palmer and Harvey will be holding seminars at Pro-retail. There will be a presentation on EUTPD2 on Tuesday afternoon, free for all retailers and show guests to attend. This will be a focus area for the show, and Palmer and Harvey have appointed a specialist team to guide retailers through the up and coming changes and provide all the essential information needed to understand the rules of the new game.

There will be top suppliers attend-ing Pro-retail 2016, ranging from the largest confectionery suppliers, to tobacco companies, and all the major booze brands.

Some of the biggest names in the retail industry will be showcasing new products, deals, innovations and services over the two-day show.

Along with new products, show offers and exciting competitions, suppli-ers will also be bringing special guests this year including an ex-Englandfootballer, as well as ex-Formula One driver Allan McNish and a former Olympian, to tie in with the Fit to Compete theme.

The show is free to enter, and re-tailers can register on the Pro-retail website at www.pro-retail.co.uk/.

Palmer and Harvey will have a social media hub at the show again this year, after its success last year. The hub is designed to help retail-ers get to grips with social media, ranging from Twitter, to Facebook and LinkedIn, helping them to get the best engagement and reach in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Palmer and Harvey social media experts will be on hand to advise of the many benefits of using social me-dia such as finding new customers, improving market intelligence and engaging with customers locally.

They will also be handing out a

‘How To’ guide specifically tailoredfor the use of retailers, and the stand will inform them of the best ways to engage with consumers by using relevant hashtags as well as regular tweets and posts.

In the social media survey carried out at last year’s show, Palmer and Harvey found that out of 125 people surveyed, while 63 per cent of retailers use social media to promote their busi-ness, they have significant concerns about the benefits that employing a digital strategy can deliver.

One in three admit they don’t con-sider themselves to be social media savvy, and while the use of social media among retailers has been growing, more than one third (37 per cent) still haven’t adopted social media to grow and market their business.

The survey also revealed Facebook as the most popular social media plat-form, with 94 per cent of retailers who do use social media saying they runa business account. Twitter is used by over half of retailers (55 per cent) followed by LinkedIn (22 per cent) and Instagram (17 per cent).

The Gala Night dinner will be big-ger and better than ever, with over 1500 people expected to attend. Awards will be given out to the most outstanding retailers and suppliers, with awards ranging from Community Retailer of the Year to Service Level Excellence Award and Overall Supplier of the Year award. On the night, guests will be entertained by a top comedian and a fantastic band throughout the evening.

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