Another great initiative to encourage people to shop local, but are we listening?

Following the excellent ad from Visa to encourage people to shop local comes American Express Shop Small. Their website says ‘Shop Small Celebrates the small businesses who do big things for their community each year.’

Starting on Small Business Saturday,, cardmembers are rewarded for using their card on local high streets up and down the country. If you spend £10 or more on your card in a single transaction, they will give you back a £5 credit on your statement. And there is no limit to the number of £5 credits you can receive which could really help cut the cost of your Christmas shopping. If you want to find out where you can use the offer, American Express have created a Small Shop map on www.americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/shopping/shop-small/

With all this encouragement, publicity and incentives to help us shop local, including www.ShopAppy.com our online click and collect portal to make it even easier to shop local, will this counter the current trends in online shopping and home deliveries?

According to the Guardian, Black Friday exacerbates the trend. In the States, on the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers are beating the doors down in search of bargains. In the UK despite the lack of a public holiday, they have been encouraged to do the same. The only problem is this year the sales generated by Black Friday are online.

There are markets, high streets, shopping centres, department stores, retail parks and megamalls that could do with this custom. Until now they have tended to be at war with each other, but now they have one common rival, the internet. This is why we are doing what we can to bring together physical retailers and businesses in one area online to help level the playing field. The internet isn’t a rival, it can be a friend – but only if businesses use it more and use it together. The more we work together, the easier it becomes for customers to find us and this influences visits and online orders from local places.

So this year when you’re doing your Christmas shopping don’t forget to spread a little love and put the heart into your community by shopping local and if you are busy, use ShopAppy for click and collect. Home delivery and online ordering is all so cardboard… and quite the opposite to the vibrant places where we want to live and work

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