Costcutter is launching a training programme for its retailers to improve their social media skills and help grow awareness of their businesses online.

The company has completed a pilot scheme to develop Facebook and Twitter accounts for six Costcutter retailers and six Mace retailers. It is now looking to roll out the initiative nationally to more than 2,600 stores early next year.

Alan Kasch, who introduced the scheme at his Mace store in Worcester, worked with Costcutter to promote bespoke promotions and competitions online to drive footfall to his business.

He said: “We were able to push out a number of beer and wine deals before England’s opening game in the Rugby World Cup. We had such a big response that we had to get in extra staff to help us get in more stock.

Fernhill Heath

“We don’t want to fall behind the other symbol groups when it comes to social media. This is something we want to be leading on.”

Mr Kasch said store owners involved in the pilot have now fed back their findings to Costcutter, adding that the group is discussing the possibility of offering different tiers of support to retailers based on their social media skills.

Sean Russell, digital marketing manager at Costcutter, said: “With two thirds of adults in the UK owning a smartphone and 90% of 16- to 24-year-olds having one, a strong social media presence is key to reaching consumers who are not consuming media in the traditional way.”