Online trading

Bira announces the launch of the Neartoo online trading platform

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has announced the official public launch of its new e-commerce site Neartoo.

The website, which will launch on Monday March 7, is designed to “help stores on hard-hit high streets recover from the pandemic”.

The platform allows shoppers to discover what they are “nearby” and encourages them to explore more local stores where they live or visit, “but also to be able to shop further afield and know that they always support independent traders”.

The site already has hundreds of independent shops on board following its launch to merchants earlier this year.

Bira said “Dozens of stores have signed up each week ahead of the launch of neartoo.co.uk, which will help shoppers find contact details and directions to every freelancer in the UK, with many offering door-to-door delivery. or click and retrieve directly in Neartoo. ”.

The platform, which took around 12 months to develop, will also offer rewards to shoppers when they shop Indie with Neartoo Local Rewards for every purchase, creating points that can be redeemed with all Neartoo sellers.

Developed in the wake of the pandemic, which saw at least one in five freelancers permanently shut down, the nationally announced platform “will offer freelancers the opportunity to rebuild and grow their business on an easy-to-use platform. designed for them.

The platform, Neartoo.co.uk, will aim to “complement the store’s physical store and help independents transition to a ‘hybrid’ retail model”.

Janye Weldon, eCommerce Manager for Neartoo, said: “We’re really excited to launch this in the UK today. It’s so important that we support the high street, especially now that the restrictions have been lifted, as it will give our local businesses the extra boost they need to get back on their feet after a very turbulent two years, so we hope have a lot of shoppers looking and buying from the site.”

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre added: “The pandemic has accelerated shopping behavior, with increased internet usage and people also shopping more locally. This platform, owned by independents, responds to these two societal changes and will allow these retailers to open up new ways to sell to customers, and in a more profitable way.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for freelancers across the UK to be able to start selling online or increase their own visibility. This will get their products out to a wider audience and the fact that so many of our members have already signed up and seen the potential is fantastic, we look forward to seeing the site grow.