Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Traders take the "appy" route to boosting business

Lincoln Business Improvement Group rallied scores of staff from major and independent businesses and sprang a surprise flash mob outside the city’s Guildhall to launch an innovative Loyalty Card scheme.

And it was joined by representatives from the City of Lincoln Council and businesses to highlight how Lincoln’s free Wi-Fi is encouraging shoppers and tourists to make the most of the Loyal Free App.

Lincoln BIG is determined to help make the city cleaner, brighter and extra welcoming, in a drive to bring more people into Lincoln and persuade them to stay in town for longer.

Its decision to sign-up to Loyal Free – has given its levy payers who take-up the  free App - the power to offer people a fantastic range of moneysaving deals, post details of special sales and much more.

It is believed to be the first time that a free Loyalty App and Wi-Fi have been offered as a joint benefit for shoppers and visitors to the city.

Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said:

“Rising numbers of people are coming to Lincoln to shop and see our attractions and we are all about making the city cleaner, brighter and more welcoming.

“We know there are challenges for the High Street, but we are proud of our retail and commercial offer.

“You only have to look around to see the giant cranes on the city’s skyline working on multi-million pound development projects and spot the latest brands which have rushed to bring their names to Lincoln.

“We are ticking all the boxes when it comes to investment in retail, office, leisure, higher education and city living space and we are responding to that.”

“We are thrilled to launch the Loyal Free App, which is already creating a real buzz among our levy payers and shoppers and to join the City of Lincoln Council in reminding  people to tap into Lincoln’s free wi-fi.”

Simon Walters, Strategic Director for Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council said:

“We launched our citywide free WiFi service in the Autumn of 2018 and feedback from users so far has been very positive.

“This is an age of always being connected, whether it is to shop, socialise or sightsee as you enjoy spending time in the city.

“Working together with Lincoln BIG to launch their Loyal Free App is the logical next step to provide the ultimate retail experience for visitors to the city, and we’re sure that it will be a huge hit with shoppers.”

The Loyal Free App (which can be downloaded from the App Store by Apple iphone users or from Google Play for those with an Android phone) is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt.

The duo devised LoyalFree two years ago, from a coffee shop in Edinburgh, with the intention of boosting trade for businesses across the UK and they have seen incredible growth.  Lincoln BIG is Jason and Sophie’s 12th UK partnership.

The new partnership means that BID members will benefit from advertising in the local area, customer insights and social media support.  A local guide will also help visitors with vital tourism information while an events section will showcase activities in the area.

BID members already on board include Bells Tea Shop, Lincoln Cathedral, Bailgate Deli and Debenhams.

Lincoln Waterside Shopping Manager Dean Cross believes Lincoln BIG’s decision to invest in the LoyalFree App is a good move.

"This is a fantastic initiative designed to support Lincoln's retailers and we hope it's a great success. We know that trading conditions are challenging but by pulling together and working collaboratively to make Lincoln's city centre as attractive to people as possible we will all benefit. It's great to see details of special offers, deals and city events, including the Waterside's full calendar of activities, in one easy to use free app."

The launch of the App (which has already been taken-up by many other Business Improvement Districts BIDS across the country, follows hot on the heels of  Lincoln BIG, teaming-up with the City of Lincoln Council and sponsor Lincolnshire Co-op to put a “gumbuster” to work on the city’s streets.

This has been complemented with the issue of “No Chewy On My Shoey” chewing gum disposal papers to shops, pubs and restaurants. The launch resulted in print, web, radio and television coverage.

But Lincoln BIG isn’t stopping there – and it promises much more to come in a busy year leading-up to its five-year reballot in Oct/November. Levy payers will soon be encouraged to tap into the BID’s much appreciated Lincoln in Boom scheme.

It allows businesses to invest in subsidised floral arrangements, while Lincoln BIG does its bit by also paying for larger floral displays around the city.

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