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