A PARTNERSHIP forged by Sheffield-based AngelRevolutions and a nationwide campaign to promote small towns is aiming to bring new life to high streets across the country.
AngelRevolutions and Action for Market Towns, which represents 500 towns across the UK, are planning to use the power of social networking to boost high street visitor numbers and sales.
The 365 High Street initiative aims to put complete high streets on the web and enable stores to be open 24 hours a day, just like those run by e-tailers like Amazon who are seen as one of the causes of the conventional retailers’ demise.
AngelRevolutions is using some of its existing technology and some new innovations to create a Facebook presence for complete high streets, in which every shop also has its own page.
“Two thirds of the population is on Facebook,” says Kay Klug, who, along with Barry James and Barry’s son Jonathan make up the trio that is AngelRevolutions.
“On a given day, half are logged in and half of those will be logged in for about 35 minutes – that’s the biggest footfall anywhere and it’s all electronic.
“We have devised ways of grouping the interests of people on the high street so that they reach those people on Facebook and entice them onto the ‘social’ high street in such a way that it gets them back onto the physical high street.”
Shops will be able to promote goods, offer discounts and make sales – but the key is that whatever they buy won’t be delivered.
“The whole idea is ‘click and collect’,” says Kay Klug. “You will be able to make sure whatever you want is in the shop, buy it and then fetch it. The shop will know it has definitely made a sale and you will physically have to go to the high street.”
And, when that happens, the hope is that visitors to the real high street will take a look around, maybe use a discount token they have downloaded in one of the coffee shops and see what else is on offer.