NearSt is an app that is helping to get people back into independent high street shops near them.
NearSt allows people to browse and buy from shops near them, straight from their smartphone.
Retailers are able to bring their in-store inventory online and users are able to search for products that they want using the app. NearSt shows users exactly who stocks it nearby in real-time, and allows them to order it for collection or one-hour delivery in just a few taps. It makes it faster and easier for shoppers to buy from high street stores than order online.
NearSt was founded three years ago by two former advertising executives, Max Kreijn and Nick Brackenbury. Initially the initiative focused on London, but following a recent partnership with Google, NearSt is now available nationwide.
With almost a third of all Google searches relating to location and over 80% of all retail spending still taking place in physical shops, NearSt are firm believers in the high street, particularly small, independent shops.
Around 60 shops in the UK now work with NearSt, allowing their in-store inventory to be made available to NearSt app users.
The high street, in recent years, has come under much scrutiny as both independent stores and multi-nationals have had to close their doors, as more and more consumers have focused their buying online.
In a comment piece for iNews, Mary Portas, who led a government-backed review into the future of Britain’s high streets, wrote: “Consumers’ needs are forever changing and retailers need to start working in a new way to create tomorrow’s brilliant shopping. That way will be around developing ideas that inspire and delight. In order to do that, we need the people within the businesses feeling free to create, have a voice and take risk without penalties.
“We need to stop thinking about shopping as purely transactional and start thinking about it as a social activity where shopping is the natural by-product.
“The future high street won’t be ruled by alpha culture, it will be built around social interaction, community and a vision for a better way of life for everybody.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea