Former Bira membership manager joins

Julie Holden, former national membership manager of Bira (British Independent Retailers Association) is the first in a raft of appointments for is a website that was created to ‘revive British High Streets by providing an alternative to supermarkets and online retail giants, allowing customers to book events and experiences as well as browse and buy local products online’.

A click-and-collect service allows people to buy from their local shops 24/7 and pick goods up from out-of-hours collection points, usually a pub or other late-night opening venue.

The site doesn’t take commission on sales. There are 28 towns signed up to with businesses ranging from greengrocers to hairdressers, with another 75 towns now considering the scheme.

Julie said she is delighted with her new role as membership development director for, explaining: “I’ve watched ShopAppy for some time and can see how the initiative is building a community of local businesses and place managers dedicated to generating footfall and crucially spend into our town and city centres.

“I’m very excited to join at a pivotal point in ShopAppy’s growth with new technological advances being launched in early 2020 and a clear and strengthened commitment to supporting local areas and businesses to thrive.”

Founder and ceo of Jackie Mulligan said: “We have a clear vision of how we can better support local areas to increase digital engagement and collaboration to enhance communities. Julie will be a fantastic leader for our new team and her appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to working relentlessly to help customers to support their own localities more easily than ever through a digital shop window enabling them to browse, book and buy local.”

Earlier in the year announced new functionalities beyond the browsing, shopping and click-and-collect functions including bookings, social media, web links and data insights, so a wider range of businesses could join and benefit from the initiative.

Jackie added: “The booking elements of ShopAppy in particular, which offer in-built and integrated solutions, have proved very popular with customers by bringing the wide variety of local businesses available together in one place, online.

“We are learning, adapting, improving all the time and now our focus is the people within who can support our members and partners to grow.”

At the end of September, Kendal became the 28th place to launch the scheme, and local businesses were featured on ITV news and BBC Radio and in the local press.

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