A petition has been launched to encourage the Government to introduce a “Shop Out to Help Out” scheme to support the recovery of independent retailers after the lengthy lockdowns during the pandemic.
The petition has been set up by loyalty membership organisation Refundable, which is hoping to gain 100,000 signatures, which would require the matter to be debated in Parliament.
A not-for-profit initiative from Refundable, the scheme proposes to reward customers with a 50% rebate (maximum £10 per transaction) when shopping in small, independent retailers, with fewer than 10 members of staff.
It would be a similar scheme to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last summer to help boost the hospitality industry.
“Independent retailers have had a very challenging year and it’s crucial that the Government steps up to assist the recovery. We really hope that this petition assists in launching the Shop Out to Help Out scheme, which we at Refundable believe will result in a much needed, positive transformation of the UK’s high streets,” explained Lee Plaister, owner of Refundable.
Manchester-based Refunable says it already has card-linked loyalty technology white-labeled and ready to launch pending Government approval of the scheme. It claims this method of managing the scheme would be far more effective that pre-paid cards or vouchers.
There have been talks of voucher schemes across the UK and the Government of Northern Ireland has said it would introduce a scheme in late summer giving all shoppers £100 to spend in bricks & mortar stores via a pre-paid card. However the UK Government has yet to commit to any scheme.
Refundable’s petition follows on from calls from campaign group Save The Street to introduce such a scheme. Save The Street was established by Appear Here founder Ross Bailey with the backing backing of many well known fashion and retail names including Mary Portas, designer Henry Holland and beauty entrepreneur Charlotte Tilbury.
Both consumers and retailers are being urged to sign the petition, which can be found here.