Getting more shopping local

Penarth has a rich heritage, a wonderful coastline and thriving Local
traders supported by a loyal local community.

Penarth is a town in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, approximately 4 miles south of
Cardiff city centre.
- Size of the population – Over 27,226
- Number of businesses – Over 60 Penarth businesses are listed on ShopAppy
- Lead Organisation – Penarth Business Group Funded by Vale of Glamorgan
Council and Penarth town Council

The Challenge

Penarth is a thriving town of independent businesses that attracts tourists from all over the world to its beautiful coastline. As in many other tourist areas footfall drops in the winter months, without local residents in low season, the town was struggling.  When 


The Solution 

Penarth Business Group commissioned ShopAppy to create a local virtual marketplace in Penarth to drive more localised footfall in the winter months and open new ways for customers to shop locally and from afar to support their local businesses with ease, increasing digital; presence and awareness of what is available in their town centre.

Penarth Business Group have been working closely with local business traders and the ShopAppy team to encourage them to join the scheme.

 “ShopAppy gave the town and all its businesses the ability to sell online during what, arguably, was the most difficult trading period most had endured.  The team at ShopAppy have been nothing but friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable. Their patience with getting our town set up on the system has been great”
John Davies, Local business owner of Penarth View

“An online marketplace for Penarth businesses would make for a much stronger trading future and ensure that money is kept and spent in our local economy”
Angelina Hall, Chair of the Penarth Business Group.

Clicks to bricks

Angelina Hall, Chair of the Penarth Business Group explains her reasons for considering the scheme

“During Lockdown 1, my parents were shielding and bought a jar of Peanut Butter from Amazon!  Penarth has so many shops that they could have bought this from, and it was so sad that they had not been able to buy this easily, locally. 

It felt like a light bulb moment, and the idea was floated to the Penarth Business Group committee, that an online marketplace for Penarth businesses would make for a much stronger trading future and ensure that money is kept and spent in our local economy. It was agreed that the move to buy on-line was obvious, and offering a blended way of buying, so people could buy in store or online felt a natural way forward.

We agreed we did not just want a business directory, as there are already so many out there, and they do not seem to work.  If we were going to do this properly, we needed to find a provider that offered a buying experience comparable to the big online marketplaces and allow to checkout from multiple businesses with one basket.  ShopAppy offered this facility”

Now after commissioning ShopAppy she adds

The whole ShopAppy team has an air of positivity which is infectious.  The Team realise that many of us are busy, stressed, technophobe business owners, who really don’t have time for this, but know we should be doing it. There has been lots of help and hand holding to ensure our products are on the site and look good”.

We have found that locals are using it to book, buy and browse what we have in store”


ShopAppy Penarth now includes over 60 local businesses – a third of the number of independent businesses in the town - selling products and services from original artworks to music lessons, from fresh produce to takeaway picnic hampers. The platform has attracted over 10,000 Penarth users (30% of the local population) who are looking at nearly 7 pages of the site per visit.

Angelina Hall explains the reaction “Penarth locals have been very enthusiastic about the site and the stats are very encouraging.  We have found that locals are using it to book, buy and browse what we have instore.  Certainly, as buying patterns have changed so radically, being able to browse ShopAppy, decide what they want and then come in store to buy, has been a developing pattern.  For many, who are still cautious and worried to go out, this has helped them get back to shopping on the High Street, supporting local traders and allowing them to limit the time spent inside.  We would love to grow the site, so everyone had their business offering on it.  At the moment you can buy anything from bread, a piece of art or even a new fridge!  Diversity of choice is essential for the future success”

Additional spend generated from ShopAppy in Penarth so far is now over £200,000 providing an excellent return in investment in implementing the scheme, supporting local businesses, safeguarding local jobs and supporting local suppliers.

Increased collaboration to get more footfall

As well as being part of the marketplace, encourages collaboration between businesses on promotional campaigns. To help unleash the magic of the high street for Halloween 2021, ShopAppy alongside the Penarth Business Group got 10 businesses to participate in a Halloween trail. The trail is a just one example of the many local campaigns that ShopAppy supports to encourage footfall.

Angelina, Chair of the Penarth Business Group 

“We really hope to be able to collaborate more with ShopAppy on future events for the town.  The Halloween trail will showcase ten Penarth businesses and get locals moving around the town discovering businesses they did not know about, having fun as a family and winning sweets!  It is so good for the town to have businesses working and collaborating together, and ShopAppy is offering such support and encouragement”

ShopAppy and Penarth Business Group continue to work together on new initiatives for the local community to encourage collaboration that links to digital to physical to bring footfall to local businesses. 

"Penarth's ShopAppy provides a fabulous shop window to the town, and locals are very engaged in discovering their local area. 25% of the local population are using the site which is generating footfall and spend. In addition businesses have benefited from the shop local campaigns that form part of the ShopAppy shop local solution

Jackie Mulligan, CEO of ShopAppy


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