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North Bay firm expands shop-local tech

Mobile version of One Red Maple app now available
One Red Maple is now available as a smartphone app. While shopping online, the app redirects shoppers to spend their money with local retailers instead of large corporations.

Consumers in North Bay who want to support homegrown companies can now shop for locally available items on their smartphones.

One Red Maple, which was developed in North Bay last year, is now available for download as a smartphone app on both Android and Apple platforms.

When installed, the app will notify a shopper if items they’re shopping for are located at a locally owned store. The idea is to redirect consumers to North Bay-owned stores and away from shopping at major online retailers.

Creator Mark Sherry first introduced the tech as a desktop application last year after watching local retailers struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look to our struggling downtown in North Bay,” Sherry said in a news release. “It has become increasingly difficult for our local stores to keep up with the infrastructure of these massive corporations. We’re just trying to level the playing field.”

One Red Maple uses artificial intelligence to identify inventory and find an exact match for the product a shoppers is seeking.

If an exact match does not exist, the app will provide suggestions for useful alternatives.

Sherry has said his plans include rolling out the app to other Northern Ontario communities, and eventually the rest of Canada.