Doncaster shopkeepers go digital with launch of online shopping scheme

Jackie Mulligan. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Fourth generations shopkeepers are all set to take a huge leap into the 21st century and go digital this week.

Being launched on Saturday is the new online ‘shop local, click and collect’ Shopappy scheme in Tickhill.

The digital move has been championed by shopkeeper Christopher Taylor of Taylor’s of Tickhill who said: “Taylor’s like many of the shops in Tickhill has been a family-run grocery store for over 70 years and we have a loyal local base of customers. But we need to keep up with new generations, who are now digital and time-pressed.

“We know that many people do not have time to shop locally as regularly as they would like to. ShopAppy will mean they can browse what the shops in Tickhill have on offer, buy our items online and collect their shopping when they choose.”

ShopAppy aims to preserve the unique character of Britain’s high streets by promoting independent retailers at a time when local shops are struggling because of increasing competition from supermarkets and online shopping. It is even more important for small villages who have a tougher time standing up to the giants.

Launched in 2016 by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Jackie Mulligan, the ShopAppy service follows a simple three-step model: customers place their orders on the ShopAppy website; each shop picks and bags their part of the customer order; orders are collected from either each shop or from one collection point.

Rod Broad, owner of Tickhill Garage is delighted to be the collection point for the scheme – he said: “As a petrol station we are an easy spot for people to pick up their shopping on their way home from work. We all feel so much better when we shop locally, so it is great to be making local shopping even more convenient in Tickhill.”

Lockwoods proprietor Mrs Ann Carroll added: “We are truly a family business, established in 1944 and are now run by the fourth generation of dedicated and talented florists. Times are changing and we need to work together as shops to make it easier for customers to find us and shop with us.”

The Tickhill launch takes place on Saturday, September 30, between 10am and noon, outside Taylor’s in Market Place.

It will feature dancing emojis, free tasters of local goods and free prize draws.

ShopAppy founder Jackie Mulligan explained: “It is very hard to survive with the pressure of online giants and major retailers and supermarkets surrounding them.

“I meet plenty of customers who would prefer to shop locally but it is not always convenient so they end up in supermarkets or online. There are shops in Tickhill, like Deli 28 for example and two fabulous butchers as well as the Davie Gallery and DIY shops which offer items you simply could not find at supermarkets or in the big chains.”

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