Stores urged to participate in digital high street scheme

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Convenience stores in a number of pilot towns are being encouraged to sign up to a government scheme to promote their high streets online.

Set up by Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) alongside the government’s Future High Streets Forum, the scheme is being launched in Gloucester, Stroud, Cheltenham, Leamington Spa and Stafford among a number of other towns.

Diane Savory, chair of Gloucestershire LEP, said: “The digital high street initiative is already proving that business working together to create an online presence for the towns where they trade is effective for those businesses and those places. 

“By 2020, nearly half of retailing transactions will be influenced by the web, so all types of retailers have to think about how they want to talk to their digitally savvy customers.  Convenience stores are an important part of the eco-system of high streets and parades across the country, and this sector can play an important part in this work.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “It’s quite right that in looking at ways to support high streets, the Future High Street Forum includes an important piece of work on how digital communications can be harnessed to support bricks and mortar shops, rather than just being seen as a threat to high streets. 

“The pilot is looking into how businesses can work together to promote the places where they trade, and to make shopping easier and more enjoyable for customers.  We want to ensure that convenience retailers can be part of this pilot.”

C-store retailers who want to participate in the scheme will be contacted by the Gloucestershire LEP team running the project. In order to take part, contact Steve Dowling at ACS on 01252 533009 or steve.dowling@acs.org.uk.  For more information visit www.wdyt.org.uk

All the findings from the pilot are being fed directly back to the Future High Streets Forum, chaired by high streets minister Andrew Percy, and will help inform government policy and initiatives to support high streets.

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