02 December 2020

Sunderland shoppers can now find new ways to support local, independent traders, thanks to the city signing up to a trailblazing scheme. was launched to help the high street engage with customers in a new way that would make it more convenient for them to shop and has now become a huge asset to towns and cities across the country.

And as part of its on-going commitment to helping the local economy, Sunderland BID working with Sunderland City Council, has enrolled the city in the scheme, which will give smaller retailers a new shop window to display and sell their goods - with the hope of getting at least 20 businesses to sign up for the scheme before Christmas.

On – which is accessed online – shops and stores can display a range of goods, allowing the customer to buy from a number of outlets but collect all of their purchases from one place.

It means that sellers without an online presence of their own can have one and any retailer with an existing website can have this as an additional way to promote their products and services. was recently featured on ITV’s The Tonight Show, highlighting its value in helping to revive the high street.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes – which is backed by Visa – is a great resource for the city.

“We have a fantastic number of independent and unique businesses in the city which many people may not be aware of,” she said.                                            

“ShopAppy gives people on focal point to explore these businesses and buy from one or a number of them.

“It also makes it very convenient for anyone who can’t go shopping during normal opening hours that they can still support the local economy and have the convenience of being able to pick up everything they’ve bought in one place.”

Jackie Mulligan, who started four years ago, said the organisation was “very excited to be working in Sunderland and partnering with Sunderland BID on the launch of

“It could not be a more critical time for businesses to work together and make it easier for locals to spend closer to home,” she said.

“And with growing restrictions, buying from local businesses via is a great way to offer support and good cheer across the city when local communities most need it.”

Sunderland City Council Leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, appealed to people to support the scheme.

“ is about shopping locally and keeping it that way,” he said. “It’s important that we do as much as we can to support our shops in Sunderland in these difficult times.

“By shopping locally and using websites like this we are helping city businesses and many of us will also be supporting family, friends, neighbours and other residents who work in Sunderland.

“Let’s all do what we can to keep shopping locally and keeping Sunderland’s hard earned pounds in Sunderland.”