Independent Shops in Wakefield are to fight back against online-only businesses by becoming the UK’s first city to sign up to a new website.
Twenty-two businesses have joined ShopAppy.com in which shoppers can browse at their goods day or night, buy and then pick them up from the city centre shop at their convenience.
Subsidised by Wakefield BID, it is hoped the move will help to halt the decline of retailers who face tough competition from web-based companies who can often sell items cheaper because of reduced overheads, including business rates.
Lynne Thompson, who runs The Ridings-based arts and crafts shop, Created in Yorkshire, has signed up for the website and said: “The high street is dying and we need something to counteract that.
“We can’t be open 24/7 and people want to shop when they get home from work.
“ShopAppy gives us a virtual shop that enables them to do that and is a brilliant way of putting us in reach of those who can’t shop at weekends or in their lunch break.”
Tania Howe, from Betty Loves Candles on Trinty Walk, has also signed up and is hoping it will help increase footfall in the city.
She said: “I’m on social media and was on the cusp of setting up my own website but was daunted by the cost and the prospect of having to pack up products to post nationwide.”
ShopAppy.com launches in Wakefield with an event in The Ridings on August 30 from 10am to noon.