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UK start-up aims to give London bookshops one-hour delivery service

In the UK, retail tech start-up  NearSt is aiming to connect readers in London with their local high street bookstores by offering customers one-hour delivery through their newly launched website, reports the Bookseller. The company’s technology NearLive allows shoppers to enter their postcode, search for the book they want and find the nearest store where that book is in stock. The site then offers shoppers the choice to order the book for one-hour delivery or instant collection. Thirty-five London bookstores will participate in the launch stage, with the bookstores keeping 94% of the retail price of the sale, and NearSt taking six percent commission. The business hopes to challenge Amazon and support high street retailers, with the goal of providing other products besides books by the end of 2016, before expanding into other UK cities and Europe in 2017. Andy Barr, manager of participating bookstore Belgravia Books, calls the decision to partner a ‘no brainer’ and the process ‘enviably easy’. ‘I make a few tweaks to a spreadsheet every day and our stock appears online,’ said Barr, who explains that once an order is made online, the bookstore will receive an email, before escalating to an automated phone call if a response isn’t received after five minutes. NearSt then coordinates the one-hour delivery. Lutyens & Rubinstein bookstore assistant manager Tara Spinks said she hopes ‘it will bring people into the shop to collect their orders’. NearSt founder and CEO Nick Brackenbury said that ‘as shoppers increasingly demand products when they want them, where they want them, the advantage in retail is rapidly swinging back to high street shops’, and that his company is ‘perfectly placed’ to serve this trend. ‘We think this will really help how people shop in the next few years, if you think how easy it is to get something straight online,’ said Brackenbury.


Category: International news