Independent Retailers Confederation Partners with ‘Shopping Appointment’ Solution

New service eliminates the need for customers to queue to get into independent shops

  • IRC partners with BookAShop to encourage safe and controlled retail environments across its 100,000 retail members
  • The service allows consumers to plan shopping trips and arrange appointments with their chosen retailers, eliminating the need for queuing
  • Designed to maximise shopping efficiency during reduced capacity due to social distance guidelines 

The Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) announced that it has partnered with BookAShop in order to encourage and rebuild the confidence of shoppers.

BookAShop is facilitating a new way to shop, both for post-COVID-19 openings and beyond.  In the short-term, the booking service app will facilitate re-opening strategies and social distancing measures while ensuring the safety of both customers and staff.  It is designed for retailers of all sizes and locations, and can be used by both UK and overseas shoppers planning their shopping trips.

A key feature available is to enable customers to book appointments to shop based on their needs.  This will eliminate queuing outside of stores, and allow customers to shop within safe environments while adhering to changing social distancing guidelines. The app also uses technology to calculate the correct amount of people and staff allowed in a shop at any one time.

The new partnership gives the variety of trade associations that make up the IRC the opportunity to offer their members free access to the app until April 2021.

Mark Walmsley, Chairman of the IRC, said: “The IRC has been working hard throughout COVID-19 to provide indie retailers with key ideas and solutions to assist them through the pandemic. This has included the ‘We are open’ map, persistent Government lobbying as well as recognising retail innovation via with the Best Small Shops competition Innovation category.

We are now delighted to have formed this partnership with BookAShop, which offers a host of benefits to high street shops and their customers. The app is a prime example of how the high street can work together using new technology to adapt and pull through these hard times”.

Joshua Van Raalte, co-founder and director of BookAShop, said, “We have developed BookAShop to help retailers reopen, remain open and to simultaneously rebuild the confidence of consumers so that they will return to in-store shopping. Unless there is a viable, mass solution, people will not ‘destination shop’ and will continue to shop on-line.”

“For many people, shopping is a fun, social and leisurely activity. The possibility of queuing, crowds and chaos are stopping people from going back to the stores.  With major shopping areas currently running at minimal capacity, we need to reassure both domestic and overseas consumers that Britain remains a great place to shop.”

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