“Bought locally, ordered online and delivered to your door.” That sums up what Poptotheshops offers South Wales residents. Poptotheshops, which was launched late last year, currently serves four high street areas, who each sell between 3300 and 4500 products using the internet shopping service. 292 shoppers have registered so far, and 36 shops have signed up. One shop actually left the system, because its owner didn’t want the ‘aggravation’ of extra work caused by extra sales. More stores will be joining soon, and Poptotheshops’ founder, Will Seward, hopes to expand beyond Wales as soon as possible. Seward came up with the idea after being dismayed about being too busy to shop at local stores. Most local shops have shorter opening hours than the big chains like Tesco and Walmart, which can make it hard to support local retailers. On Poptotheshops, customers can shop day or night, selecting products from the local butcher, baker, fishmonger, greengrocer and off-license, before checking out in one go. Similar to online shopping at supermarkets, customers can save favourite products and specify when they’d like delivery to take place. Delivery is free for customers. Poptotheshops covers its costs (and will hopefully generate a profit) by charging retailers 10-15% commission. Besides supporting the local economy and keeping the high street alive, PTTS also sees other benefits: independent stores often offer great local products and produce that aren’t available in nationwide stores, consumers save time otherwise spent in supermarkets and helping small retailers thrive decreases the control that supermarkets have over pricing, produce and suppliers. We like the ‘still sold here’ aspect, and believe consumers will be more likely to support neighbourhood retailers if it’s convenient to do so. One to set up with your local high street! If you’re based in the UK, you might want to contact Poptotheshops: their system was designed to enable territories to be created, and for those to be coordinated by a single person. Territories can be as small as a postcode area, or as large as a county.