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Virtual high street set to launch in Hackney

Almost 100 businesses have signed up to the Click It Local scheme, which aims to help small independent companies connect with consumers during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as competing with the likes of Amazon and other big online companies.

According to the Hackney Gazette, the borough’s The Five Points Brewing Company, Climpson & Sons Café and Howl At The Moon bar have all signed up. There is a flat £3 delivery fee for customers from the first retailer, and then a further £1 for every shop after that.

Steven Koch, Click It Local founder said: “Communities are rediscovering their local high street and it is amazing to be able to recreate the individuality of London through the virtual high street.

“Our aim is to ensure we can all continue to shop local, support independent shops and provide for the local community.”

The scheme goes live in Hackney on 1 June and has already launched in Cambridge and Brighton, with an app coming in July.

Mr Koch said the company would connect shoppers and shops with the help of the delivery bike company Zedify.

“The past decade has been a tricky time for local shops, with many struggling to stay afloat due to competition from bigger online businesses,” he said. “With the added, sudden challenge of COVID-19, many independent shops in Brighton have been badly hit.

“I love shopping locally, so I wanted to find a way to offer the local high street virtually to its community in one place online, as well as help small shops offer the same level of speed and convenience that today’s online customers have come to expect.”

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