Buxton could win back some £6 million pounds a year in lost business if the town’s traders joined the local loyalty scheme revolution sweeping the UK, research by students at the University of Derby Buxton has revealed.
Traders in Matlock and Leek claim to have seen footfall and spending in shops increase after introducing similar schemes, the second year students said in a presentation to Buxton Town Team, who commissioned the research.
The students recommended two schemes – one a traditional system aimed at generating greater awareness and local involvement, and a pioneering method of collecting loyalty points via customers’ smart phones. The two could be run together in a complementary way.
For every pound spent in a local shop, up to 80p remains in the Buxton economy – compared to just 20p for a pound spent in a national or international chain store, Town Team members heard at the presentation in The Dome.
“Buxton is performing very well, retaining 53.3 per cent of the market in its catchment area,” said Events Management and PR student Anca Dicui, 20, from Romania.
But that meant 46 per cent of trade was still going outside the town - or £6.2 million in potential business.
Loyalty schemes had been demonstrated to be effective at keeping more trade in the local area: “Buxton is a great and lovely town that deserves the best of the loyalty scheme revolution sweeping across the country,” said Hospitality and Culinary Arts student Etwell Marara, 37, from Buxton, who added that smart phone usage among the town’s population was now at 60 per cent - and rising.
Jean Ball, Buxton Town Team Partner Special Advisor, added that a decision on the loyalty scheme proposal would be made later by the Town Team – but more volunteers were needed if it was to be added to their already busy programme of projects.
“The students did a grand job and have given the Town Team much to consider,” said Jean. “This is an excellent example of the university working with the community to support positive collaborative action.”
The research team also included Emma Simpson and Dorota Pater.