Whether it is the cosy café, the family-run bed and breakfast or the hairdresser around the corner – small, privately owned businesses, visited by millions of people every single day, play a crucial role in local communities. To pay tribute to their enduring dedication and recognise their accomplishments, METRO is celebrating a special day worldwide. The inaugural Own Business Day is due to be celebrated in all countries in which the company is active on 11 October 2016 and will draw attention to a great number of small businesses who will launch special offers for the public.
"Every day, millions of independent business owners around the world make our lives more colourful and connected through their essential services and enduring passion. They are one of the key social and economic players in our communities and help sustain the meaningful interaction between us," said Pieter Boone, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry and member of the Management Board of METRO AG. "METRO strives to be the champion for independent businesses, and we want to express our admiration for these business owners with this special day."
The inaugural Own Business Day will take place on 11 October 2016 in all countries in which METRO operates, targeting all small businesses including 21 million METRO professional customers. The company intends to establish the day as an annual global event scheduled for every second Tuesday of October. The event strives to provide own businesses with the attention and recognition they deserve and support them in building strong networks with others who share their passion. Leading up to 11 October, the activities surrounding Own Business Day will present a variety of special deals and offers, created by all participating businesses on a dedicated online platform that is open to the public in each country.
"We are convinced that with this global campaign and its diversified activities, an even broader recognition of independent businesses will be promoted and the emotional and operational link between these businesses and the public will be further enhanced," said Philippe Palazzi, Chief Marketing Officer and Operating Partner of METRO Cash & Carry. In preparation for the event, METRO will provide participating business owners with comprehensive support. The online platform at www.own-business-day.com features the most up-to-date information and a growing number of special offers for the local public. Customized marketing support measures vary from country to country to benefit the participants. In some countries, for example, registered business owners will be able to order merchandising material free of charge, provided by the local METRO subsidiaries, to support their own marketing activities. In others, participants will even have access to regular updates on special deals, workshops and promotion material, including supplier and media cooperation.
During the final month leading up to 11 October, a number of promotional campaigns will be intensively carried out across all countries to stimulate more attention among the targeted business owners and the general public. For example, a series of so-called "pop-up shops" are due to be launched in seven selected cities across Europe and Asia. Here, one restaurant owner will set up a provisional but eye-catching spot at a busy downtown location using the banner of Own Business Day and will promote the upcoming event through tasty food and attention-grabbing activities.
METRO employees around the world will be engaged as of the beginning of September in a global "#ownie" campaign, in which they will visit small businesses in their neighbourhood and take a selfie-style picture with the owner to show acknowledgement of the owner’s efforts and achievements. This event underscores the company’s culture of staying in touch with its independent business customers and understanding their needs and challenges.