AFTER a tough year for businesses across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, Penarth traders are coming together with an innovative idea to support their high street.

Over the next few weeks, Penarth traders will be asked to join a virtual marketplace which will be just for independents in the town and will be the first in Wales to do this.

There are already 170 traders looking to join.  

The idea came about after Angelina Hall, co-owner with Cathy O’Doherty of Glass By Design, was racking her brains on how to help businesses in the area during the first half of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Hall then approached the Vale of Glamorgan Council to secure funding for the initiative – which turned out successful. She then discovered ShopAppy, a website where you can have all your favourite shops in one place and approached them about getting on board.

Penarth Times: Angelina Hall Angelina Hall

“If our high street is to survive, we all have to accept that the new normal is a blended way of buying, and we want Penarth to be at the forefront of this,” she added.

“This in essence will give us our own mini-Amazon, but just for locals to buy from independents.


“The reason Amazon has been such a success is everything is in one place and people can find absolutely everything with ease.

“Together, we are so much stronger, and locals have proved that they are ready to support buying locally, we just have to make this very easy for them”.

For the first year it will cost businesses nothing to take part, due to funding by VOGC. You do not need to already have a social media presence or website to take part.

Mel Griffin, owner of Griffin Books, and who is taking part in the initiative, said: “We need to recognise that the accelerated shift to online shopping that has taken place during lockdown is here to stay, and we have to get on board or be left behind!

Penarth Times: Mel Griffin Mel Griffin

“By working together as a community of local independent traders, we aim to make it just as easy and convenient for people to shop online with Penarth businesses as it would be to shop with Amazon.

“Many of us already have our own websites but being able to build up a shopping basket of goods from multiple local shops, and pay in a single transaction, has the potential to be a game-changer."

  • If you are a Penarth trader and would like some more information about getting involved, head to the Penarth Business Group Facebook page.