Indies have hit back after the Mirror suggested readers use supermarkets rather than local ships. Mary Isokariari reports.
 
Retailers have condemned the Mirror Newspaper for urging their readers not to "impulse buy" at their local shops.
 
The feature recently published inside the newspaper titled '10 ways to build a festive fund' goes against research data showing that consumer trust in supermarket chains is at an all-time low.
 
Point five in the article read: "Don't impulse buy at the corner shop — instead, plan your grocery shopping and go to the supermarket."
 
Asian Trader award-winning Roli Ranger owner of a Londis in Ascot said: "I think it's an outrageous statement from the dark ages, which is not in touch with reality as local retailers and convenience stores have moved on.
 
"We have found that supermarkets are being caught out [running misleading promotions] and are the culprits, but the press continue to hack into the smaller retailers, when convenience stores have improved and upped their game.
 
"The newspapers still have that old frame of mind, so they should go out to good convenience stores and be shown what we are doing," added Ranger.
 
The "modern convenience store" meet the lifestyle needs of consumers wishing to buy a range of food and drink "little and often" for the next few days, rather than shopping at large supermarkets to hold them for the next two or three weeks. 
 
Stores are in a strong "good to go" proposition, offering shoppers plentiful opportunities to buy "food for tonight." Consumers will also visit these stores to stock up for meal preparation in the week ahead. 
 
As a result, Britain’s biggest grocery chains are forging into the smaller supermarket and convenience store sector to try and get back customers.
 
Brian Murphy, Head of News at the National Federation of Retail Newsagents NFRN reacted to the Mirror article. 
 
He said: "We are disappointed that the Mirror has chosen to direct its readers to supermarkets when it is independent newsagents and convenience stores who are responsible for so many of the paper’s sales, particularly those in the early morning when many supermarkets are not yet open for business or through home news delivery which the big boys do not even offer.  
 
"But the suggestion is also ill-advised. How is anyone going to build a festive fund if they are spending money on  travelling to a supermarket where they will buy the same fixed priced item (a copy of the Mirror) that they could pick up from their local shop."
 
Retailer Vikash Amin who runs a Nisa store in St Mary Cray, southeast London, played on his store's strengths in order to survive.
 
He said: "I am a surrounded by two Tesco Extras and one Tesco Express and a Marks & Spencer, all within a mile and a half radius. I make sure my prices are cheaper than Tesco. I go into Tesco every week and check their prices. Their 4-pint of milk is £1.53. Mine is £1. My large Kingsmill bread is £1 whereas Tesco is £1.29. They do have promotional offers but that is my permanent price. 
 
"The locals know my bread and milk is cheaper. They will come in, buy their bread and milk and hopefully pick up something else as well. Our booze is definitely cheaper than Tesco. I send my staff in once a week to Tesco to check their prices of bottled ciders and bottles of wine. I sell Blossom Hill at two for £8. Tesco sell it at £5.49 per bottle."
 
Trinity Mirror declined to comment. 
 
Top 10 reasons why you should shop at your local corner shop
 
1) Helps to keep the high street alive.
 
2) A local retailer is often part of the community providing a friendlier service and adding a personal touch to the shopping experience.  
 
3) Offers a selection of local produce and can introduce new products very frequently and easily without going through strict procedures that supermarkets have to follow. 
 
4) Independent retailers can run promotions on par or even better than what the supermarkets are offering by price matching products. 
 
5) Each store is individual and bespoke to the area allowing owners to adapt to a change in consumer behaviour. 
 
6) Convenience stores are positioned in high streets and residential areas, making them ideal for the top up mission. 
 
7) Shopping locally is good for the environment as people are more likely to buy what they need, which reduces wastage. Avoiding short journeys will cut air pollution and CO2 emissions and drivers will save money on fuel.
 
8)  Convenience – why drive 5 miles to a supermarket and pay for parking.
 
9) Exercise by walking to the store.
 
10) Buying little and often for the next few days will help consumers manage their cash better.

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