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Free service may help independent retailers
12:54pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in Business
ONE in five people in the North-East are unable to name an independent retailer near their home, research has revealed.
The survey into the barriers preventing consumers shopping at independents revealed half of the region’s customers believe independent retailers are more expensive than large chain stores.
The research, conducted by mobile phone provider O2, comes as the network is enabling local businesses to create offers available through its Priority Moments scheme in a bid to drive footfall and boost profit.
The free service, which will allow all independent shops, whether they are O2 customers or not, to create offers that are relevant, local and immediately redeemable.
The O2 scheme is supported by the British Independent Retailers Association.
The survey found that nearly three in five thought independents do not offer the range of products they are looking for and nearly half shop at large chainstores because they do not know of any alternatives.
Michael Weedon, deputy chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association, said: “There is an opportunity with the massive uptake of smartphones in this country – well over half of all adults now have one in their pocket or handbag – and the ability to communicate directly with local customers can provide a route to renewed vitality for small businesses.
“But, being small, they lack technical expertise, resources and, in many cases, confidence in taking advantage of new technologies.
“The opening of Priority Moments to small businesses, with an easy to use administrative system creates a huge opportunity for independents, made easy with a no-cost model and driven by the massive power and expertise of O2.”