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New national initiative launched to convert pubs to shops

A new UK-based scheme has launched to help thousands of currently closed pubs to reopen as click and collect hubs allowing communities to access essential groceries.

E-commerce specialist StarStock has unveiled, an initiative that will allow pubs to trade as food shops during the coronavirus health crisis.

On 20 March, pubs in the UK were told to close “as soon as they reasonably can” and no reopen until government permission has been given.

However, they are allowed to operate a takeaway service, but many have opted to close for the period instead, meaning that staff have been furloughed.

StarStock’s new initiative already has the support of pub operators including Admiral Taverns, Greene King, and St Austell.

This, the company says, means that the scheme could potentially reach around 20,000 pubs.

Using StarStock’s technology, pubs will be given the ability to take and process online orders giving them both a way to ease cashflow issues as well as support their neighbourhood in providing food.

The service is a partnership with Brakes, AB InBev, Coca-Cola and Use Your Local and is open to all pubs in the UK.

Admiral has advised that it will operate the technology in 1,000 of its pubs, as will Greene King. St Austell, which manages around 170 pubs mostly in the south west, is also signed up.

Brakes will also be offering the service to the 15,000 pubs it regularly supplies in the UK, providing venues with a food shop ‘starter kit’.

Sam Ulph, founder and CEO of StarStock, said: “We are all aware of what is happening around us, and in these exceptional times this is a vital way for pubs to stay connected, offer an essential service and to secure an income stream during a period when they are unable to trade in their normal way. It will also help to alleviate the pressure on other grocery shops and the supermarkets.

“This initiative is much more than an online pub service. It’s entirely focused on helping communities and we hope that it will drive positivity for pubs and champion the people that run them as the local heroes they are.”

Each transaction made on mypubshop will be subject to a 2% operational fee. However, StarStock said it is running as a non-profit campaign, and any surplus revenue will be donated to the NHS.

Once orders are placed online, pubs will act as a collection point for orders. Individual pubs can register online here.

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