Coronavirus

‘Like many independent businesses, the virus made us change the way we work’

By Ian Marland at

A West End butchers is trading online for the first time thanks to a new app designed to help small businesses survive the crisis.

Rodgers Butchers on Byres Road is navigating the COVID-19 situation after introducing its first home delivery service.

The move has been made possible by Glasgow-based firm Connect which develops online stores and home delivery apps.

Rodgers Butchers on Byres Road

Rodgers Butchers on Byres Road

The firm is making its system available for local independent retailers including bars, restaurants, florists, grocers and butchers in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Established in 1880, Rodgers Butchers was founded by James Rodgers and the family-run supplier is now in its fifth generation.

The firm, which also has a shop in Clydebank, supplies two hospitals and a number of care homes.

Owner Tom Rodgers said: “Like many independent businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has required us to change the way we work.

“Using Connect we have created our first online store to sell meat packs, enabling us to use our own staff to deliver products to customers’ homes.

‘Positive impact’

“It is not going to be business-as-usual for some time to come, so ideas like this which can help traders continue to operate will have a positive impact for the economy.”

The Connect technology is designed for large restaurant chains, but is now being used to create bespoke apps and websites for smaller traders, with a home delivery option which can be added on.

The platform can be used anywhere in the UK, and companies can use their own staff to deliver goods safely.

With a unique system that means companies keep their own customers’ data, rather than hand it to a third-party company, the Connect service is designed to revolutionise the home delivery market.

Businesses pay a small licence fee for their own branded, customisable app for Apple and Android devices and their own dedicated online ordering website.

Meat counter

Rodgers Butchers was founded by James Rodgers in 1880.

When using the bespoke app, shoppers will choose the nearest location if there is more than one store and add desired products and services to the virtual basket for checkout.

Meanwhile, businesses will receive the order at a dedicated machine which will print it out.

Connect is a collaboration between Stuart Stott, managing director of the Glasgow-based Galactic Media Group, David Harper, founder of the national Go-Centric contact centre, and Mike Callachan, managing director of Dundee-based MTC Media.

‘Devastating’

Stuart Stott, director of Connect, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has been devastating for businesses across Scotland and the UK.

“The Connect platform is designed to revolutionise the home delivery market to bring this service to small and independent stores, to help them survive the COVID-19 crisis and ensure thousands of jobs can be saved.”

David Harper, founder of Go-Centric, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this innovation and play our part in helping companies navigate through this period of economic turmoil.”