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Norfolk retailers to be offered access to online marketplace

17 April 2013 - 14:25 by Sarah Collinson

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While big name high street retail chains generally have the profile and financial resources available to them to make a splash when launching an online outlet, it can be tough for smaller firms to make their mark.

A new initiative being set up in Norfolk, is hoping to even the odds by giving local retailers access to an e-commerce marketplace, that lets them sell products to customers via safe shopping online, not just from a bricks and mortar outlet.

EDP24 reports that Norfolk resident and former councillor, Glyn Walden, is behind this scheme, which is in the early stages of development.

Eventually, Walden is hoping that Norfolk retailers will be able to sell items to customers and post them out via mainstream delivery services, although at first, it is thought that there will be a more basic setup as the site gets off the ground.

Walden said that he wants to effectively create a web-based department store, which allows retailers of all kinds to get involved with safe shopping online and reap the benefits of broadening their potential reach.

This kind of multichannel approach to retail is something that can really give an advantage to small companies that might otherwise find it tough to stand out from the e-commerce crowd.

Meanwhile, consumers who want to support their local businesses can do so while still experiencing the convenience offered by online outlets.

Walden compares his idea with that of the Amazon marketplace, albeit with a far more local feel, that should enhance Norfolk's retail economy.

This idea will be presented to councillors later in the month and early reactions suggest that after a few tweaks, it could eventually be put into motion. Similar schemes are already in place in other regions of the UK, so the template has been proven.