ONLINE SERVICE PROMISES TO REBOOT LOCAL HIGH STREETS
November 7 2013.
Local MP Norman Baker is supporting a new initiative which aims to bring 200 of Britain’s High Streets online, a scheme that could breathe new life into Lewes, Newhaven, Polegate & Seaford town centres and combat new business closures.
New research shows that almost half of us are scared of losing our local High Street and that two thirds want a High Street with a good mix of independent and chain stores. Currently one in seven shops across Britain’s High Streets are lying empty, the powerful cross-industry coalition of MyHigh.St, the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) and Play.com, working with Action for Market Towns and the Association of Town and City Management, support the new service and encourage High Streets to go digital.
The MyHigh.St website comprises a new e-commerce network that for the first time gives towns a platform to showcase their High Streets and independent shopkeepers a simple, affordable and effective chance to sell their products online whilst driving in store footfall.
The website seeks to embrace new technologies, using them to rebuild High Streets as destinations to visit and shop – both online and in person.
The MyHigh.St website allows shoppers to visit their local High Street whatever the weather, any time of the day or night. The combination of e-commerce and High Street showcase, coupled with “click and collect” and an independent shops’ loyalty system, enables shoppers to buy online whilst encouraging visits in person.
MyHigh.St was conceived last year by Loaye Agabani, a toy shop owner from Somerset with a big vision. He saw that a network of digital High Streets, showcasing all that Britain’s shopkeepers have on offer, would deliver a compelling shopping experience and a means to attract visitors to towns.
Norman says: “This scheme offers an opportunity for smaller independent retailers to reach out to a wider online customer base. Shop owners will be able to level the playing field between themselves and the retail giants.
“It is innovative initiatives like this one that will help reverse the trend of high street closures and hopefully breathe new life into town centres. I hope that local towns will sign up for this scheme”