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Loyal to Fylde - the loyalty card scheme that supports local businesses

PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:01 06 August 2018

Christine Herbert, of Bijou, Tatiana Zharkova, of Bond & Bloom, Shaun O'Meara,  Michael Sayward, from Attire, Julie Holden, La Tete Et Tout and Nina Herbert, also of Bijou

Christine Herbert, of Bijou, Tatiana Zharkova, of Bond & Bloom, Shaun O'Meara, Michael Sayward, from Attire, Julie Holden, La Tete Et Tout and Nina Herbert, also of Bijou

glynn ward

A newly launched loyalty card means supporting local businesses is all the rage

Lytham basking in summer sunshineLytham basking in summer sunshine

For years, shop local has been the mantra of those who want to show their support for independent businesses the length and breadth of Lancashire. And a new scheme in Lytham aims to make it pay for shoppers to keep it local.

Even before it launched in July, Shaun O’Meara’s loyalty card scheme had outgrown its original remit. First called Loyal to Lytham, it has now evolved to include shops and businesses along the coast in St Annes.

‘I have broadened the idea from Loyal to Lytham, it’s now Loyal to Fylde,’ said Accrington-born Shaun, who moved to Lytham six years ago. ‘There was some reluctance from retailers in St Annes because of the name, but opening it up has been good. I am sure it will evolve further between launch and the end of the year, and then as we take it forward it will develop even more.’

Businesses who have signed up are able to promote their goods and target offers at everyone on the Loyal to Fylde database. And those customers can benefit by learning about deals they may otherwise have missed and with a reward scheme which, Shaun hopes, will be an incentive to do more shopping in independent shops and boutiques.

‘I was born and raised in Accrington and when I moved to Lytham I was struck by the busy community and how all the shops, bars and restaurants are full. I’ve been saddened by what has happened to Accrington with shops closing and the town centre getting quieter and quieter. In Lytham the independent shops are constantly recycled into more independent shops.

‘My girlfriend Katie and I are ready to settle down and start a family and it seemed like a good time to invest in what we have here and to build a life here.’

Both Shaun and Katie have worked in project management but he feels the time is now right to develop the loyalty idea he first had in 2016.

‘It hasn’t been the right time to do anything about it until now,’ he said. ‘I have made a huge personal investment in terms of time and money while building the business plan. This is not a sprint by any means.

‘I’ve done it all myself so far; visiting shops to encourage them to sign up, promoting the scheme and designing the website. It’s been hard work but very interesting – there are some shops I’ve only been in because I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ve found shops selling things I didn’t know they sold, things I thought I had to go elsewhere for.

‘The loyalty scheme app will help them promote their goods and special offers to everyone who is signed up and allow them to engage with their customers beyond the point of sale. It’s a way for retailers to influence their footfall and hopefully boost trade.

‘For customers it will be a way of becoming more familiar with local shops and to learn about special offers and deals. We are trying to swing business away from chains and towards independent shops.’

For more information, or to sign up to the scheme, go online to loyaltofylde.co.uk.

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