Online supermarket plan for Norfolk town’s shops

Diss Mere

Diss Mere - Credit: Boudicca Way

A new online supermarket could soon be launched where a Norfolk town's local shops can advertise and sell their products.

Former Diss town councillor Glyn Walden is hoping to create an internet market place, similar to online sales company Amazon, to display every item that participating retailers wish to sell.

He added the cyber shopping centre would also provide a facility for retailers to offer a delivery service for goods bought online, if they wish.

He said the website could be set up in three stages, with the first level being a product directory with the outlets and their stock, the second level being where customers can select and collect and the third stage being a full sale facility where shops can send goods using Post Office and Royal Mail services.

Mr Walden will discuss the proposal with Diss Town Team, the town council and Diss Business Forum and will also be speaking to South Norfolk Council to try and secure funding.

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He added: 'Diss retailers will have the opportunity to be part of a massive departmental store, but using the internet to allow them to trade over the counter as they are doing now, but safe in the knowledge that customers will be able to shop locally first.

The plans have been welcomed by representatives of the town team and business forum, who believed the plan would provide a much needed online sales point for smaller shops.

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Town team leader Oliver Chapman said combining local shopping with the internet should be seen as an opportunity, not a threat, adding: 'As a town team we are certainly happy to look at ideas like this and obviously anything that increases people coming into the town, even if it is only to pick up goods would be a good thing.'

Jenna Cox, vice-chairman of the business forum, was also supporting the scheme, adding: 'I think there are things that need to be worked out, but I think it could be a wonderful focal point for shopping in the market towns.

'A lot of the small shops still don't have an internet presence and still don't have internet so for them it is an ideal shop window.'

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