Claim free giveaways at ShopAppy launch to support independent Stevenage retailers

Residents and visitors are invited to the launch of the ShopAppy initiative in Stevenage.

Residents and visitors are invited to the launch of the ShopAppy initiative in Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

A new initiative aimed at supporting independent retailers and encouraging people to shop locally in Stevenage is launching on Saturday.

The ShopAppy website and app aim to improve footfall and sales for independent retailers in Stevenage by providing them with a click and collect shopping service through which customers can order products to later be collected in-store or at a number of collection points around the town.

As part of the launch, Stevenage Borough Council will be giving away free shopping vouchers and goody bags to the first 100 people who sign up to the ShopAppy website on Saturday. There will also be face painting, dancing emojis and an Instagram selfie board on the day.

The service will launch at 11am in Town Square – with smaller events also in Stevenage Indoor Market and the Westgate Shopping Centre at the same time – and at 1.45pm in Stevenage Old Town, outside Hotel Cromwell in the High Street.

ShopAppy is designed to combine the convenience of online shopping with the individualism of local retail.

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More than 30 retailers have already signed up to the initiative, including Bike Stop, Revolution Records, Academy Menswear, Hurren’s Butchers, Limited Edition Comix, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, On the Green, Blush, and Lost Ark Games.

John Gardner, the borough council’s executive member for regeneration and environment, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with ShopAppy, which will bring an extra dimension to what our shops can provide to customers by adding a click and collect facility.

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“With our high streets facing a downturn in consumer spending, increased competition online and the closure of major retailers impacting footfall, it is more important than ever to support independent stores, which are the heart and soul of our town’s retail offering.

“The addition of ShopAppy will enable them to compete on a more level playing field.”

Stevenage’s town centre manager, Tina Benson, said: “I’m excited. This ShopAppy site is to support independents and franchise independents to be more visible online.

“You will be able to browse products the individual stores sell, with the ease of browsing in one location.”

Ray Hurren, who founded Hurren’s Butchers, added: “As a traditional butcher, our quality and prices often beat the supermarkets and we know where our products come from and are able to give customers exactly what they want. This online shop window will widen awareness of the indoor market in Stevenage and give more people access to local, fresh produce.”

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