Sujun Fieldhouse shopping locally and in front of the Totally Locally big screen in Southend High Street
Sujun Fieldhouse shopping locally and in front of the Totally Locally big screen in Southend High Street

A new virtual high street for the borough of Southend-on-Sea has been launched –

Shoppers can browse and buy from one or more of the borough’s shops in one place, select Click & Collect or delivery (if available) and pay with one easy payment. This means that if you buy online but want to support local independent businesses you can now do both.

There are over 70 independent businesses from across the borough already selling on the site and the number is growing.

Nicola Sutcliffe (pictured), owner of Three’s Company on Leigh Road said: “The Totally Locally online shop is hope for the future for small independent retailers following a really tough year. I have read and heard about how well it has worked in other areas of the UK, and I’m so excited to see it in Southend-on-Sea and start selling!”

Chrissy Avaloine, owner of Groovy Baby, Westcliff-on-Sea added, ‘The website is fantastic for the local community. It is easy for businesses to use and update when we need to, and it’s just as easy to shop on it. You can tell it really has been created to make it easier to shop local!’

The online high street website is an initiative by Totally Locally with Totally Locally Southend-on-Sea, an award winning, grass-roots campaign that promotes independent businesses, high streets and towns. Their latest initiative allows independent businesses in each town to register, upload their products and have them all to browse and purchase online in one place; it’s like Amazon but for a town’s local businesses. The initiative is supported by Visa.

Changes in shopping habits have accelerated hugely over the last year and Visa’s research has shown that 63% of shoppers now want to browse products online before they consider buying them, even for local shops. At the same time, businesses have scrambled to start selling online in any way they can.

59% of shoppers have also used more local shops and services during lockdown and most want this trend to continue. Visa has been supporting Totally Locally in this initiative to help develop the site and get businesses online as part of their “Where you shop matters” campaign.

It’s not just for shops though: any independent business can register on the website, including trades and services too, showing everything available locally in one place. Hosting a shop on the site is free until 2022 for independent businesses across the borough in Southend-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea, Eastwood, Westcliff-on-Sea, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness, made possible through funding by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. Local volunteers have been working hard to get the word out and more of the boroughs independent businesses on this online marketplace. There is no contract, so vendors can leave at any time and are not committed to staying.

Chris Sands, founder of Totally Locally “This is all about making it as easy to shop locally with independent businesses as it is online with larger chains and multinationals. We want this to be like a virtual walk down your high street, you’ll go there looking for specific things then find other great products and shops whilst you’re browsing that you might not have realised are local. As we say, if you shop online, you can now shop local too.”

Sujun Fieldhouse (pictured), Economic Development Officer at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council said, “The way we shop is changing, and we want to support local businesses to be able to adapt with this. The website is a great way to have lots of our independent Southend-on-Sea businesses under one virtual roof, open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”

You can browse and buy from this site at

To help make Totally Locally Southend-on-Sea become a reality we have partnered with grassroots representatives from retail and businesses and key stakeholders across the borough of Southend-on-Sea.