NearSt to take on Amazon

Published:  13 July, 2016

Retail tech start-up aims to bring consumers back to local retailers with new app

Retail tech start-up NearSt is aiming to bridge £4bn in sales for high street retailers in the UK by connecting products in local shops to smartphones. The platform allows people to order products for instant collection and 1-hour delivery, beating any existing offer from online platforms such as Amazon. 

NearSt, which is backed by European retail and consumer accelerator and investment fun TrueStart, has today launched its website, www.near.st and mobile app through which consumers, initially those in London, will be able to buy books across the city and later this month expanding to 1000’s more products including consumer electronics, DIY goods, health & beauty products, sportswear, stationary and gift shop services.

UK high streets have been suffering the rise of online marketplaces, an issue NearSt aims to tackle by bringing business back to brick-and-mortar stores. The NearSt technology, called NearLive, enables any shop to set-up and start selling real-time inventory to shoppers through www.near.st and the app, in less than 10 minutes. Shoppers simply search for something they want, see where it's in stock nearby, and in a few taps order it for 1-hour delivery or instant collection.

Nick Brackenbury, chief executive at NearSt commented: “The only thing missing is a simple connection between products on the shelves of real nearby businesses and shoppers’ smartphones.”

“NearSt isn’t shying away from going head-to-head with Amazon. While we are currently focussing on growth in London, we are actively working on wider coverage of our offer in cities across the UK and Europe. Our 2020 ambition is to have every product, in every shop, on every high street easily available through NearSt.” 

Baz Saidieh, CEO of TrueStart, commented: “At TrueStart we look to work with genuinely disruptive and innovative businesses, and NearSt is no exception. By tapping into the I-want-it-now mind-set of today’s consumer, which is increasingly coupled with a desire to support local businesses, NearSt is effectively building the technology that will help to power the future of retail, and it is getting shoppers back to the High Street.”

NearSt has successfully piloted the technology with bookshops in London and is already processing over 3-million live inventory updates daily. Founded in 2015, NearSt is backed by Europe’s leading retail accelerator, TrueStart – part of retail Private Equity firm True Capital. Earlier this year NearSt were also nominated for an Accenture Consumer Innovation Award.

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