Positive response to online supermarket

Barry Florence and John Sinclair
Barry Florence and John Sinclair

Ballater businesses are to be asked to register their interest in the idea of an online supermarket.

The Piper reported last month how Barry Florence, of H M Sheridan butchers raised the concept of the virtual supermarket - with each business (or department) selling its goods through the web - at a meeting.

Mr Florence said: “I brought it up at the Ballater Business Association (BBA) meeting and it got a positive response there and they were quite keen to take the project forward. Everybody could see the potential and idea of marketing Ballater. Why use a supermaket when you’ve already got one in the town with a lot more to offer than a standard supermarket?

“There was also a positive response from a lot of the BBA members who are accommodation providers - they were quite taken with the idea. They couldn’t see the difference between selling goods from a fishing shop and selling two nights’ accommodation.

“We are going to try to put a small questionnaire out to all the businesses. They will be asked if they are interested, how much of a percentage of a sale they would be willing to give up and how much they would be willing to put into it upfront?

“If we do it through the BBA, it sets up easy boundaries and it’s a way of attracting members too.

“The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) are trying to do a similar project for the park as I am trying to do for Ballater and the model we are both trying to set up will be the same. We will be meeting over whether there is a need for two.”

He said if the idea was approved, perishable items ordered online would come from the department (the shop) and non-perishables could come from a warehouse. They would hope to have a local delivery service or mail order service for items ordered further afield.