Increasing the Footfall in Woking

In collaboration with the University of Surrey, Woking Borough Council (WBC) has partnered with Too Good To Go and NearSt to launch two innovative ‘love local’ initiatives to safely encourage shoppers back to the High Street.

WBC strives to promote and assist businesses that do not have an e-commerce presence, to at least have a web presence that will help consumers identify products that are available in local shops. This in turn incentivises consumers to go out and purchase more products locally. To help achieve this, WBC has partnered with NearSt.

According to technology platform NearSt, 83% of shoppers would prefer to shop locally instead of online, if they know an item is available in a nearby store.
The NearSt platform automatically shows products that are in-stock in shops in the borough to shoppers searching nearby on Google, making it easier for consumers to support local businesses on our High Streets.

The second initiative addresses environmental concerns and focuses on encouraging consumers to make their food purchases locally while at the same time reducing food waste within the borough.

According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme*, in the UK alone, we waste over nine million tonnes of food and drink every single day, 70% of which could be avoided.

As this wasted produce decomposes in landfill, it pumps out harmful gas, adding to global warming and that’s not to mention the wasted resources that went into producing the food in the first place.

WBC has partnered with social impact company Too Good To Go to launch an app which enables residents to purchase food that would otherwise go to waste at discounted price.

The Too Good To Go app is the world’s largest B2C marketplace for surplus food and connects users with businesses that have surplus food, so it can be enjoyed instead of wasted.

Through the app, users can order ‘Magic Bags’ of food under a particular type, such as pastries, sandwiches or salads but exactly what is in the bag e.g. the type of sandwich is a surprise to allow stores to get the flexibility they need to make sure nothing gets thrown away.

As well as the environmental benefits reducing food waste brings, the app incentivises consumers to buy food from local shops, cafes and restaurants, and enables businesses to reach new customers and recover sunk costs.

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