Independent retailers are seeing a boost in alcohol sales from a new social media challenge encouraging users to take part in a convenience pub crawl.
The viral craze known as ‘corner shop crawl’, which launched on video-sharing platform TikTok, involves participants buying an alcoholic beverage from the various local shops in their area and uploading footage of their journey.
On average, each video receives more than 1,000 views, as well as more than the same number of interactions.
South-London-based TikTok fan Becky Lawrence told betterRetailing she visited eight shops, but didn’t plan the route because there was a “corner shop on every corner” in her area.
“I knew the shops had a cheap range, and drinks we liked. We mainly bought pre-mixed cocktail cans, including Smirnoff, Gordon’s and Archer’s,” she said. “The selection met my expectations, and we ended up knowing what to expect at every shop.”
When asked whether taking part in the challenge meant Lawrence would be more likely to visit her local shop in the future, she explained: “I noticed there were a lot of cheap deals on items that I wouldn’t have expected, or wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t taken part.”
Serge Notay, owner of Notay’s Convenience in Batley, said he was aware of the new trend. “We’ve been posting videos of new Smirnoff products on TikTok, and they’ve been doing well,” he said.
“We had an up-and-coming rapper in the store, which we posted about on TikTok. I’m considering using the video to promote our alcohol section for the convenience pub crawl.”
The news comes two months after retailers used TikTok to help capitalise on the popularity of new mochi ice cream brand Little Moons.
Notay said since using TikTok to promote his store’s products, sales have increased 20% year-on-year. “TikTok has been amazing for us, but it’s about getting on each vital trend as soon as you can,” he said. “There’s no point jumping onto a trend several weeks later.”
Arjan Singh Rhoud, of Premier Morley Convenience Store in Leeds, has encouraged retailers to work together to promote each other for participation in the crawl.
“I’ve got a takeaway cocktail bar in my store, which I’ve posted lots of videos on TikTok about, including cocktail making,” he said. “The convenience bar crawl could boost alcohol sales, and there’s the potential to work with other stores in the area to promote their offerings.”
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