The partnership will see two independent retail and High Street champions working together to give independent shop owners a vast and varied array of products – and a free e- and m-commerce website to retail through.
Retailers visiting the show can not only leave with the stock they need for the season ahead but also – by visiting Stand 331 – with an online store that lets them compete head to head with chain stores, supermarkets and online-only retailers.
Research commissioned by MyHigh.St shows customers still believe in the High Street, but want the convenience of online shopping:
• Half of shoppers fear the loss of the friendly, personal service and expert knowledge of trusted shop keepers.
• One in four shoppers fear the loss of variety and unique goods, brands, and services sold by independent shopkeepers.
• A quarter fear the loss of trusted personal recommendations and advice.
• A quarter expect to spend less money on the High Street but more online in the next six to 12 months.
• Half say that the High Street will lose out if it does not embrace e- and m-commerce in the next six to 12 months.
Loaye Agabani, retailer and co-founder of MyHigh.St, said: “Every retailer needs to stay fresh to keep its customers coming back. Giving and Living is an invaluable source of new products and enables retailers discover new suppliers.
“MyHigh.St turns the threat of online shopping into an opportunity for independent retailers. Our vision is a single online destination that showcases the nation’s High Streets in a way that enables customers to feel good about researching and shopping online. Working with Giving and Living is a natural step forward.”
Mike Anderson, Giving and Living’s show organiser, said: “Giving & Living has been taking place in the South West each January for nearly 50 years. It is an opportunity for retailers to find and order new products for the coming season, while MyHigh.St offers shoppers the chance to buy a variety of unique goods, and support local independent retailers at the same time. Together with this and other initiatives, we want to help independent retailers thrive, not just survive.”
The Giving and Living show’s other offerings include the GA (Giftware Association), EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale technology) and access to a range of business services.
Launched in August 2012 in Wells, MyHigh.St has grown quickly across the South West and neighbouring counties. Shoppers are now browsing and buying from more than 75 shops and 3,500 products from indie retailers and virtual High Streets including Wells, Castle Cary, Bristol Old City and Stroud.
Local independent shops can join MyHigh.St and become professional online and mobile retailers within 24 hours. As soon as 10 or more shops from the same area sign up, a dedicated virtual High Street is created.
Retailers pay nothing up front and no ongoing fees, just a commission on each sale. As part of the deal retailers receive a package of e- and m-commerce tools, business and marketing services for free.
Visit MyHigh.St at the Giving and Living show in Hall A Stand 331 at Westpoint, Exeter, from 13 to the 16 January 2012.