On July 5th 1994 Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie opened an online bookstore in Seattle. Because of the city’s reputation as a tech hub and Washington states small population it meant that they would not have to charge sales taxes to most of their customer base. Bezos financed the company with $10,000 from his own pocket. He and the small startup staff spent their early days working in his garage on desks made out of doors. Bezos initially incorporated the company in Washington state with the name Cadabra, Inc. After a few months he changed the name to Amazon.com. He selected the name by looking through a dictionary and settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different”, just as he envisioned his Internet enterprise.
Flash forward to the present day and on February 2nd 2021 Jeff Bezos announced that he will step down from his role as chief executive later this year and transition to the role of executive chair. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy. Bezos has been Amazon’s CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics behemoth, which has also made Bezos himself into the world’s richest person ever worth a staggering $200 Billion .
Who would have predicted that a small online bookseller in Washington state USA would morph into the huge multinational enterprise that has become such an integral part of lives across the globe. Love or loath Amazon, credit has to be given for the way it has changed the way we shop. By simply clicking a mouse almost anything can now be delivered to our door within 24hours.
The downside of Amazon is the impact it is increasingly having on our high streets. Going into town to do our shopping is an activity that is increasingly under threat from online retailers like Amazon. Competing with online businesses purely on price is extremely challenging. So how can businesses across Bridport and our high street shops rise to the challenge and remain in business? One asset they all have which is unique and special is personal service from people who know their products and are able to advise and support. But more than that our local businesses and high street retailers become friends we like to chat to.
The covid pandemic has brought about a quiet revolution in our high street shops. Many of our local businesses now have their own online presence which has certainly made shopping easier during those long weeks and months of lockdown. It is now time to bring all of those individual online services together under one local platform – a local one stop online shop for Bridport.
Today the Bridport business sector is on the cusp of making that happen with the launch of ShopAppy Bridport, an App that brings all the advantages of shopping locally to support the local economy, together on a single, online platform.
ShopAppy Bridport works by enabling our local independent shops and businesses to show information, products and services they have for sale in one place. ShopAppy Bridport aims to encourage us to go into town and use the shops and businesses nearby. But sometimes we do not have time. The site has the potential to bring all of the products and services our town has to offer together into categories so we can search for items easily or you can choose to look at the products in your favourite shops instead.
If you choose to shop online using ShopAppy Bridport, when you are ready to pay for your goods, you will be given a choice of whether you would like to click and collect from each shop, whether you would prefer to just pick up all your shopping from one place or if you would like your item delivered, order by noon for delivery the next day. In addition there are options to book things and order items to be sent to loved ones near and farThe development of ShopAppy.com has been driven by customers who want to make shopping locally easier online, but I know that the independent shops and businesses in our town, love to see and meet customers. This means that if you just want to virtually browse, and then decide to take a trip into the high street or market later then you can. Bridport is one of over 100 towns nationwide launching a ShopAppy service.
Anything you spend online using ShopAppy, except bank processing charges, goes to our local businesses. So it works because together we can help our local independent shops to stay in our town. It is hard for them in a world of online giants and supermarkets. I am sure like me you would prefer a world and a future where local shops, local businesses and local communities support each other. ShopAppy has the potential to do just that.
Just as Amazon started life in Jeff Bezos’s garage, ShopAppy Bridport is at a similar stage in its development. The first few local businesses have started to upload their wares. If ShopAppy is to successfully deliver a local online shopping experience then it will clearly need to grow and in order to grow it will need the people of Bridport to use it. If the people of Bridport use it the number of local business using it will increase. If the number of local businesses using it increases then the range of products and services available at the click of a mouse will increase. And if this all happens the number of people using it will increase and so the cycle of growth continues.
Visit the ShopAppy Bridport online site today and you will be visiting Jeff Bezos’s garage back in 1994. The cupboard looks bare but the potential is there for all to see. If our high street is to survive against online giants like Amazon it has to adapt and ShopAppy Bridport offers that potential. The more we use it the more it will grow and as a result we will use it more.
To visit the ShopAppy Bridport site click on the following link: ShopAppy Bridport
Bridport Litter Free Street Champions – update
I am incredibly pleased by the positive response we are having to the call for the people of Bridport to become Litter Free Street Champions for the street where they live. The sign up email address: [email protected] is becoming busier by the day as word about the campaign spreads.
Last Wednesday morning I was interviewed by Radio Solent about the campaign and you may have seen the article in the Bridport news plus other mentions on Bridport Nub and Bridport Banter. Word is definitely spreading and everyone I have spoken to likes the idea. This includes all of the food retail outlets in the town, all of whom will be displaying the Bridport Litter Free Street Champion recruiting poster.
The more Champions we can recruit the lighter the load for those taking part. So come on Bridport show how much you love your town by signing up at: [email protected]
From Street to Sea – update
On Sunday May 30th a mass litter pick will take place across Bridport:
- On our streets the Bridport Litter Free Street Champions will pick their local street and be joined by other volunteers on the day to pick some of our green spaces.
- On our rivers canoeists, kayakers, and paddle boarders from Bridport Sea Scouts and West Bay Canoes will pick the litter along the banks between the town and the sea.
- On our beaches West Bay Beach Clean Volunteers will be out picking.
We have already recruited the litter pick volunteers needed to cover our beaches and rivers. The challenge is to recruit sufficient volunteers to cover our streets and green spaces. There is no such thing as a litter free street so click on the following link [email protected] to sign up and become someone who is doing something positive about something negative.