Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Canny consumers gain a steak in reward points by shopping local

Paul Graham, chief executive, Phlok with John Minnis, president of Holywood Chamber of Commerce and Stevie Moore of Orr's Butchers

Bargain hunters in Co Down could be rewarded for shopping locally thanks to a new scheme.

Paul Graham from Belfast, now living in Dublin, has taken his experience in telecoms to create Phlok, a new web and smartphone rewards scheme which provides consumers with virtual currency, to be spent with any business on the Phlok network.

When the customer spends their points, Phlok pays the receiving business full value for the points spent.

Since launching the company 14 months ago, Mr Graham said that around 500 businesses in 45 towns and villages across the UK and Ireland have already joined up. The scheme will launch for the first time in Northern Ireland this weekend in Holywood, where 22 businesses having signed up to the concept.

Mr Graham said that his goal is to connect local people with local businesses and give consumers incentives to shop locally.

"We are immensely proud of what the company has achieved so far and believe that Phlok will encourage a revival in local shopping," he said.

"Our overall aim is to get local customers to transact more often with local businesses across the UK and Ireland and support a growing, vibrant community.

"It really means a lot to me that Phlok makes the term 'Shop Local' make sense again," Mr Graham added.