New shopping website aims to champion local, independent retailers

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A new shopping website designed to enable local, independent retailers to set up shop online is being launched today in the South West of England.

MyHigh.St is the brainchild of former Marks & Spencer executive, Loaye Agabani, and mobile internet entrepreneur David Warburton.

Offering a suite of merchant and marketing services, MyHigh mobilises retailers, grouped by high street, to compete with supermarkets, national chains and major e-tailers as the consumer’s preferred online shopping destination, the company claims. 

Consumers can search, browse and buy through one portal; enjoying the breadth of products and range of brands stocked by independent retailers. They also benefit from the knowledge, service and focus inherent in independently owned businesses and can buy safe in the knowledge that they are supporting the local community, the company said.

Customers arrive at www.myhigh.st and select their local high street from where they can browse and buy opting to have goods delivered or choosing click & collect bringing people in-store.

Launching in Wells and Castle Cary, Somerset, with more than 50 independent retailers, MyHigh.St will roll out nationwide. More than 10 high streets in the South West are now in discussions with enquiries being received from across the UK, the company reports. 

In return for a percentage of each sale, MyHigh.St said it provides retailers with a risk free sales platform and marketing package including: 

•          Easy to use, secure e-commerce and m-commerce platform

•          Online marketing and advertising support

•          In-store marketing materials including window vinyls, postcards, click & collect carrier bags and package stickers

•          Hi-Points customer loyalty programme

•          Customer email newsletter

•          Delivery and merchant  partners including UPS, Cardsave and PayPal

•          Integrated marketing campaign

There is a five-step process to join: sign up online, build a personalised home page, upload stock, advertise using the free materials provided, and start trading on your local online high street.

Agabani said: “Technology has to be at the heart of the high street fight back.  We need to marry the convenience of online shopping with the sense of community that makes our High Streets great.  MyHigh.St does just that.  It is designed by retailers for retailers and gives independents the tools they need for a professional online and mobile store with no risk and no upfront or on-going costs. 

“MyHigh.St is a platform that brings independents together to collectively increase sales. Our customers get the benefit of online shopping while supporting local retail communities they know and trust.”

David Schroetter, owner of Santé Wine Imports and MyHigh.St member, said: “This is a great new service for independent retailers who will benefit from professional online resources that are otherwise too expensive.  With the benefits of cross promotions across our high street retailers, and the promotional drive that MyHigh.St plans, I look forward to increasing my sales very quickly.  I am sure this is a must for all local shops.”

MyHigh.St benefits: 

•          Extends geographic reach of store

•          Shops benefit from each other’s online traffic

•          Generate new revenue stream

•          Always open: 24/7

•          No hidden costs and charges

•          User friendly interface and admin systems

•          Helps customers support communities