A NEW delivery service launched yesterday, hoping to create what it calls a “virtual high street”.

Click it Local will allow customers to order online from independent shops and have products delivered to their doors.

The company says it is on “a mission to save the high street and help support the Brighton community”.

The service has already proved popular and almost 20 Brighton businesses have signed up.

These include craft brewer Bison Beer, cured meat vendor The Great British Charcuterie, cactus shop Hi Cacti, kombucha seller the Old Tree Brewery and lingerie and erotica shop She Said Boutique.

Click It Local founder Steven Koch said the company would connect shoppers and shops in Brighton with the help of the delivery bike company Zedify.

“The past decade has been a tricky time for local shops, with many struggling to stay afloat due to competition from bigger online businesses,” he said. “With the added, sudden challenge of Covid-19, many independent shops in Brighton have been badly hit.

“I love shopping locally, so I wanted to find a way to offer the local high street virtually to its community in one place online, as well as help small shops offer the same level of speed and convenience that today’s online customers have come to expect.”

Steven said he wants to allow shops to “compete with the likes of Amazon on convenience and choice.”

The service has already proved popular since its launch in Cambridge earlier this month and will be expanding to London and Edinburgh later this summer.

The company plans to launch an app next month but said customers can start ordering now.

The cost of the service is a flat rate of £3 if you order from one retailer, but you can order from multiple retailers on the site, and each extra retailer adds £1 to the cost of the delivery. Steven is calling for local shops to sign up and for the Brighton community to support their local stores.

He said: “Through Click It Local, communities are rediscovering their local high street and it’s amazing to be able to recreate the individuality of Brighton through the virtual high street. Our aim is to ensure we can all continue to shop local, support independent shops and provide for the local community.”

Find out more at www.clickitlocal.co.uk or follow @clickitlocal on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

• At The Argus, we are championing the work of traders during the coronavirus pandemic as part of our #BackingSussexBusiness campaign. We are always interested to hear how the community is coming together in this crisis. If you know of a local business battling to do all it can in these tough times and/or offering support to the local community, please get in touch at laurie.churchman@theargus.co.uk and rose.lock@theargus.co.uk.