Published: 17 August 2015 at 14:30
Anglia Ruskin helps develop new shopping app to promote independent retailers
The world's first online local shopping community solely for independent retailers is being launched in Cambridge – thanks to help from Marketing students and academics at Anglia Ruskin University.
Promising "no vouchers, no coupons, no gimmicks", the Hurry Here Now app connects local independent retailers with local shoppers, helping them to compete with large chains and online retailers.
Available in Apple and Android versions, Hurry Here Now allows local retailers to promote offers and services to shoppers on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day or week-by-week basis.
Offers are time limited and organised in convenient categories, such as "grocery" or "hair and beauty". Additionally, a "Spot and Share" facility allows shoppers to upload offers they find whilst out shopping and share them with the Hurry Here Now community.
Hurry Here Now has been developed by Cambridge-based entrepreneur Richard Hunter and, because it encourages shopping closer to home, is part financed by a Low Carbon grant arranged by Anglia Ruskin University.
Richard said: "Hurry Here Now has international aspirations but local origins. It has been made possible by working in close collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University.
"We have grant funding, a resident Marketing Consultant, employ two Anglia Ruskin graduates and have a team of student volunteers working on our promotional activities.
"The last few years have been very difficult for independent high street retailers and our aim is to provide a technology platform that helps local retailers reach a wider audience with timely and relevant offers.
"Cambridge has a healthy and vibrant independent retail sector and our aim is to build nationally from a Cambridge-based launch".
Tim Froggett, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Anglia Ruskin and academic lead on the project, said: "Hurry Here Now is an investment in the community and economic life of our high streets.
"The aim is to enhance the social interaction and the sense of belonging and trust that are known to characterise areas with large concentrations of independent shops.
"Our high streets have struggled in recent years due to a growth of online and mobile retailing, the sophistication of the major retailers, the immersive nature of today's shopping centres and the growth of the deep discounting phenomenon.
"The purpose of Hurry Here Now is to help independents reverse the trend that has seen 50% of consumer spending move away from the high street, and only high street independent retailers are eligible to open a Hurry Here Now account."
Commenting on the app, German Veyna, proprietor of the Al Chile Mexican food van, said: "I go to a different location every day. My sales are time and location-specific, and Hurry Here Now is the perfect marketing tool."
Hurry Here Now is available free from the App Store and Google Play, and to promote their businesses, independent retailers can create an account at www.hurryherenow.com