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Howick Village goes tech with new app

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012
Jenny Foster and Suzanne Kernot
Sarah Argyle

WORLD FIRST: From left, Howick town centre manager Jenny Foster and Howick Village Business Association administrator Suzanne Kernot check out the new Howick shopping app set to be launched in January 2013.

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A shopping village is leading the way with technology in New Zealand.

Howick Village is home to more than 100 stores and is following technological trends in the hope of bringing shoppers back to "brick and mortar".

The world is becoming more technology dominated and the shopping precinct is determined not to be left behind so it's joined the phone app craze.

The app promises to have several short and long-term benefits for retailers and customers alike.

Mike Hodges is director of ZeDDD Group, the company behind the app.

Mr Hodges says it's the first technology that will drive shoppers back to the stores.

Consumer research shows smart phone penetration is at 44 per cent of the New Zealand population and this is expected to increase.

Eighty per cent of smart phone users have looked for local information, 88 per cent have taken action as a result and 66 per cent have researched a product or service on their phone.

Howick town centre manager Jenny Foster is excited about the innovative and powerful new app.

"It raises the profile of Howick Village as a shopping destination and keeps customers informed while on the move," she says.

The app will allow customers to stay informed while out shopping and help them quickly find products, sales and promotions in the area.

"The key thing for us is that we want as many people as we can using this and the key thing for customers is that it's free," Mr Hodges says.

Paper Plus Howick owner Katie Treneman says she will be interested to see the app up and running.

"It sounds exciting, it's great for the retailers and great for the customers," she says.

Howick Village Board Association chairwoman Sue Nicholson encourages retailers to go away and think about the app and it's importance.

"Get on board or we will go to the graveyard," she says.

The app is expected to go live in January.

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- Eastern Courier

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