New app hopes to help small Irish fashion retailers 'thrive' during #Covid-19 2 months ago

New app hopes to help small Irish fashion retailers 'thrive' during #Covid-19

"It’s the local shops that keep our streets and communities alive and we want to help them thrive."

A new app is hoping to help small Irish fashion retailers continue to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Launched last week, Bezzu is a free mobile app designed to help independent fashion and lifestyle retailers to compete with global online giants amid the pandemic.

The app was initially due to launch later this year, but the closure of all non-essential stores across Ireland has led to increased efforts to support local and ensure that these retailers can reopen when it is safe to do so.

The app even gives businesses who have zero online presence the chance to continue to trade as normal, along with the 440+ Irish retailers already using the app.

Lauren Murphy, Bezzu senior communications manager, says that Bezzu was initially supposed to launch this summer, but that the date was pulled forward in a bid to help small fashion businesses that might be struggling.

“Given the horrific impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on local retailers who have had to close their physical stores, we decided that we would launch a lot earlier than planned in an effort to help them survive during this extremely challenging time," she says.

“We understand that it will take longer than normal for customers to receive their purchases, but hope that this doesn’t deter people from supporting their local retailers.

"Even if a delivery arrives slightly later than expected, that purchase could be the difference that helps a local independent retailer survive this crisis."

For every €100 spent in a local store, €68 goes back to the local economy. Bezzu is hoping to connect customers with the best independent boutiques not just in Ireland but the planet, guiding shoppers away from bland, copycat and throwaway ‘fast fashion’ to unique and individual fashion choices.

The app includes an interactive map to find local retailers, their exact address and opening hours.

The shop-by-location feature will encourage users to visit stores close to them (when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted) to help to increase footfall. There is also an option to purchase products from the store online instead.

"It’s the local shops that keep our streets and communities alive and we want to help them thrive," says Laura.

 You can find out more about Bezzu here.