Shops in Fratton, North End, Albert Road and Southsea shopping areas are being invited to take part in a trial of a new shopping app, which was developed to help people to shop locally and safely online.
'Local My Stores' is a new app which brings local high street shops to customers phones so they can shop, pay and then either click and collect at a convenient time or request a delivery.
The pilot is being supported by Shaping Portsmouth, as part of the Portsmouth City Council 'Go local' project they are leading to help high street businesses in four areas to operate safely and profitably and to help residents return confidently.
Up to 27 shops from Fratton, North End, Albert Road and Southsea shopping areas will be invited to take part in the pilot scheme. They will have free access to the app during the trial and will be fully supported to get the most out of it.
Barrie Fricker, Sales Director of Local My Stores and lifelong Portsmouth resident said: “The new app is not just a solution for the high street, but it also allows customers to social distance and to keep safe. Staff are also kept safe as by using the app, customers avoid queuing, and contact is limited.
“As a Portsmouth resident, I know how important it is to support our local businesses, but during this global pandemic and times of uncertainty, it is also very important to keep safe. The Local My Stores app is a solution to both of these problems. Having this app will be invaluable for those people who are quarantining or shielding, and it will make local online ordering simple.”
Cllr Steve Pitt, the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: "As part of our commitment to support the local economy, we asked Shaping Portsmouth to work closely with businesses in some of our key areas to look at how they could do things differently and together for mutual benefit.
"Part of this involves looking at digital solutions - particularly to help our more vulnerable residents to continue to use their favourite local venues and shops. We hope this app will be a way of supporting our smaller high street businesses to have an online offer and also help customers to feel more confident about supporting local shops."
Stef Nienaltowski, Chair of Shaping Portsmouth, said: "If you own a shop in Fratton, North End, Albert Road or Southsea please come forward to take part in this pilot scheme. There is no cost to you but many benefits and you will be fully supported throughout."
Shop owners who want to take part in the pilot can find out more at www.localmystores.co.uk
The Go Local project is being funded from the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Find out more at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/gosafegolocal