AD – This is part of a paid partnership with Northampton BID. For more information on how I work with local businesses, please check out my disclaimer page.
Are you looking to shop local but worried about how you can during the lockdown?
Well, Northampton BID have the answer!
Lockdown has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works for a lot of local businesses, as November is the biggest time of year where people are starting their Christmas shopping and lots of businesses find this is their busiest period.
When lockdown hit, once again, businesses had to adapt and as much as it’s very easy for people to do their Christmas shopping online via websites like Amazon – they don’t need the custom!
Small and local businesses need us more than ever and you know you will get a MUCH better and more personal service than you would from a cardboard box being stuffed through your letterbox!
This is why I am so thrilled to be working with the Northampton BID again (check out our last paid partnership together from last year!) to tell you all about their Click and Collect service that’s not only going to save you from going to multiple shops around Northampton, but it will also put a big smile on a small businesses face this Christmas.
What is the Click & Collect Service?
Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (Northampton BID) is offering shoppers and town centre businesses a ‘Phone or Click and Collect’ service during November’s lockdown as well as part of December too.
This is an opportunity for shoppers alike to still shop via their favourite town centre businesses of which they can go and collect their goods from the Northampton BID’s collection point, which is situated at 64 St Giles Street.
This is a great opportunity because it enables people to continue to shop locally and safely in Northampton Town Centre during uncertain times as a lot of businesses have suffered since they were told to close again during the second lockdown.
How does it work?
If you’re wondering how on earth you can use the click and collect service, here is a break down:
Customers will need to contact the businesses directly to shop, order and pay. For example, I ordered a bunch of Christmas presents etc from Vintage Guru on St Giles Street and I contacted them directly on their Facebook page with a list of items I wanted.
Once you have placed your order, the business will ask you to collect your order via the Northampton BID’s ‘Phone or Click & Collect’ collection point.
The businesses you order from will deliver the products themselves to the collection point in time for customer collections.
I ordered my bits on the Sunday and asked if I could come and collect on the following Tuesday, so it meant I could travel down at lunch time to pick up.
The collection currently operates from Monday – Friday at 9am – 5pm each week (which will extend to 9am – 7pm from Thursday 3rd December) and there is parking available on St Giles Street for customers (subject to parking charges).
The best parking nearby is the Nationwide Car Park on Hazelwood Road, but I ended up parking on Castillian Road where I paid 50p to stay for half an hour – just enough time to pick up and go!
My experience using the Click & Collect service
My experience was very straight forward – I’ll always aim to be honest as I had never used a click or collect service before, but I was very impressed with how easy it was.
I contacted Vintage Guru on their Facebook page to order a bunch of items, because I knew that when I did with them, I was ordering from a variety of different local & independent traders so essentially, I was supporting lots of businesses in one.
I sent a list of items that I wanted via VG’s messenger and confirmed a time of which I could travel to Northampton to collect them and paid via bank transfer.
This was a simple process that I did during a Sunday morning whilst drinking coffee in the comfort of my home and it was nice to browse the items they had in stock via their Facebook page.
Once I ordered and paid, all I had to do was collect!
I then headed down one lunch break to the Click and Collect unit on St Giles Street (64 St Giles Street to be exact) where I was greeted by the Northampton BID team all with happy faces (underneath masks, of course!) and it was really lovely to have that face to face communication whilst at a distance.
The unit has a little desk that blocks the doorway, so there is no need for you to step inside, meaning everything is above government guidelines, all the staff were wearing masks and I felt very safe and confident picking up my items.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can also head down with your own bags, should you wish to pack your items in a bag from home, but they do have bags of their own for you to take too.
Overall, it was a really quick and easy process which can be done within a lunch break! I can see this being really popular during the remainder of lockdown and during December.
Why it’s important to shop local during lockdown
Lockdown has been a right b***** hasn’t it!? It’s stopped a lot of us from enjoying what we love best: going out to eat, browse in our favourite shops and supporting local.
The businesses of Northampton town centre are usually thriving during this time and it’s been heartbreaking to see many suffer because of this, so it’s great that Northampton BID have created this initiative to ensure we keep giving back to our local economy and local people with businesses to run.
After all, when you support a small business, you are also supporting that person or families Christmas this year too!