The main topic of the second day of the Annual Conference was a proposed change to the branding of the organisation.
Gill Burgess, of branding consultancy revolution, gave a presentation with examples of four different options for a new logo and strapline, designed to incorporate the organisation’s heritage with a more modern style.
Following the presentation, several members questioned the need for a change, while others felt it was necessary to attract new, younger members and to clearly demonstrate what the NFRN is to people outside the organisation.
Those who supported the proposed changes said including the anacronym NFRN (National Federation of Retail Newsagents) alongside The Fed and the Federation of Independent Retailers caused confusion. They also stressed that many members no longer consider themselves as newsagents and that more and more members are classed as convenience stores.
After much discussion, an amended rule change was proposed by newly-elected national deputy vice president Mo Razzaq, requesting delegates to agree to allowing the use of the name ‘The Fed’, with ‘Federation of Independent Retailers’ as a strapline for marketing and promotional communications purposes. Delegates were reassured that the registered name of NFRN would remain in place.
The amended motion was overwhelmingly carried, with 80.1% of votes in favour.
The rest of the day included presentations by the chairmen and heads of the field operations, marketing and communications and technology departments, as well as retailer charity GroceryAid and partners and suppliers Nestlé, Barclaycard, JTI and Camelot.
Delegates also heard an entertaining speech by former executive chairman of Scottish media group DC Thomson and former head of Menzies, Ellis Watson, on the issues NFRN members face with publishers.
Mr Watson also praised independent retailers for their innovation and resilience, despite the growing presence of multiples and technology, and the fact that retailers continue to provide a vital personal service to customers.