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Loyalty scheme aims to help Ilkley traders and shoppers
Ilkley was this week at the centre of the pioneering regional rollout of a consumer loyalty scheme which aims to promote independent local business.
Small independent retailers, and representatives of businesses in Ilkley and surrounding communities, were last night due to attend the regional launch of social digital loyalty platform, Phlok.
The commercial venture, already active in more than 30 towns and villages in Ireland, allows customers to pinpoint local businesses via a smartphone app, and earn ‘Phlok points’ – a virtual currency – to be collected from and spent in any local businesses subscribed to the scheme. The scheme is free for consumers to join.
Founder and chief executive officer of Phlok, Paul Graham, was due to speak at the meeting, held at The Yard, Brook Street, last night. He is working with Tina Boden, co-founder of independent community interest company Enterprise Rockers, to bring the scheme to Ilkley – and they hope to eventually roll it out across Yorkshire.
She came to Ilkley earlier this year, invited by a local business owner as part of the Local Indie Explorer Challenge, a 36-hour campaign visiting as many independent businesses in the region as possible.
Owner of Attic Womenswear, Sarah Lyles, believes the introduction of Phlok could rekindle some of the buzz that surrounded the Indie Explorer scheme.
She said: “As a modern retailer, we already recognise how vital social media is to the survival of independents on the high street. Phlok gives us the opportunity to build on what we already do, while rewarding customer loyalty at the same time.”
Mr Graham believes the scheme could benefit both consumers and businesses in Ilkley and elsewhere in the region. He said: “The difficulty with recent initiatives to stimulate footfall back to the High Street such as ‘Fiver Fridays’, is that many businesses can’t afford to discount their prices so heavily. With Phlok there is no need to discount – it stimulates consumer interest, helping them rediscover great value and choice locally whilst encouraging businesses to protect their margins.”
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