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Grosvenor teams up with NearSt to offer “safe and smart” shopping

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

8 Sep 2020


Landlord Grosvenor Britain and Ireland is launching a new retail innovation trial for “safe and smart” shopping with tech firm NearSt, which will allow its retail tenants to promote their in-store products to nearby customers free of charge in real time.

The retail innovation will be trialled for two months with Grosvenor’s retail tenants in London destinations including Elizabeth Street in Belgravia and Mount Street in Mayfair, as part of its programme of support its retailers reopening following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Amelia Bright, executive director of the London estate, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland said in a statement: “Technology is integral to the best shopping experiences and retail destinations. Visitors and workers are coming back to central London but with transactions in mid-July down 60 percent compared to January for apparel shops we must innovate to help retailers recover.

“Supporting brands and their connection with new customers is just one of the ways we are seeking to recast landlord-tenant relationships as a partnership, with both sides invested in the others success.”

NearSt, which promotes “getting people back into physical retail” allows retailers to showcase live in-store inventory to shoppers searching nearby to drive footfall, as the tech firm’s research shows that 83 percent of shoppers would prefer to shop nearby instead of online if they know an item is available in a nearby store.

During the pandemic, the NearSt saw a six-fold increase in searches for local product availability, highlighting the importance of making in-store inventory easily accessible to customers, and unlike normal Google Ads, the technology enables retailers to promote all products that are in stock and on shelves to nearby customers who are searching for them.

In addition to a top-ranking Google Search result, retailers are provided with intelligence to help them understand local demand. In week one, products from the first three brands on NearSt were seen by almost 15,000 shoppers searching locally.

Retailers turn to technology to help drive footfall

Brands live on NearSt include jewellery designers Vickisarge, Elizabeth Gage and Hirsh London, children's clothing boutique Pepa and Co, design label Nrby, retail movement 50m and fragrance brand Jo Loves.

Commenting on being on NearSt, Jo Hooper, founder of Nrby Clothing said: “Nrby provides contemporary, comfortable clothing for home and nearby. So NearSt’s principle of finding a business close to you, quickly and easily, really resonates with our “local” approach. Along with the desire to find what you want, when you want, comes the desire to shop more sustainably, locally and to support small businesses.

“Although it’s early days, Grosvenor’s partnership with NearSt shows the beginnings of a move in this direction - online shopping is not the only solution for shoppers these days, and there has to be a recognition of the impact of home delivery and how we can combine convenience with sustainable shopping options. Through its investment, Grosvenor can help us with the priceless experience of face-to-face service in building our business.”

Nick Brackenbury, co-founder and chief executive at NearSt, added: “As socially distanced shopping becomes the norm, helping retailers easily and safely attract local customers will be essential for success.

“Our partnership with Grosvenor shows the incredible impact that’s possible when a world-renowned landlord focusses their resources on technology that can drive more customers to shop locally. We’re excited to be collaborating with Grosvenor on this innovative partnership and helping get more customers back into local shops.”

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