Town centre app launches to entice shoppers to Romford
- Credit: Complete Ltd
An app has launched in a bid to bring more shoppers to Romford town centre.
The initiative comes from Romford Business Improvement District (BID) and has been developed with Complete Ltd.
The RM1 Club app can be downloaded for free and provides people with a directory of businesses in that postcode.
App users will also benefit from exclusive offers and it will contain information on parking in the town centre.
BID director Julie Frost told the Recorder: "It's all about driving footfall. I think it has been such a difficult year but I still think Romford has coped quite well."
Recent research from Ipsos' Retail Recovery Index revealed footfall in Romford during a week in mid-April had the second-biggest increase nationally compared to the same period in 2019.
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Julie hopes the app will attract people to continue shopping in the town long-term.
"It's about encouraging people back and keeping them here, and looking at the offers as well as rolling that into the night-time economy.
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"Some people come to Romford all the time and don't know certain shops exist, but also trying to encourage people to stay local and shop local.
"A lot of people are still working from home and it's a great opportunity.
"We do have some great shops, pubs and restaurants so it would be great to encourage people to come here and support the local businesses."
The app was originally set for launch in October, and again in December, but was delayed with non-essential shops forced to close during lockdown.
Julie said: "It has taken longer than I wanted but I think it's hit at the right time."
Non-essential shops have been able to open since April 12, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that further restrictions would be lifted on May 17, including the opening of indoor hospitality.
Around 100 businesses have signed up to the scheme, according to Julie.
One of those is Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Quadrant Arcade and director Karen Schleich said she was excited about the app launch.
"It gives us an opportunity to reach new customers within the Romford community and share our products and services to a wider audience," she added.
The app can be downloaded from Apple and Google. For more information, visit www.rm1club.co.uk.