Tech industry unites in coalition to help struggling retailers in Australia and New Zealand

Australia’s tech industry has united to create the #LoveLocalRetail initiative, a coalition of the biggest names in the retail industry including Vend, Google, Xero, Afterpay, Marsello and BigCommerce. 

To help support independent retailers in Australia and New Zealand weather what is an unprecedented challenge, LoveLocalRetail is an all-in-one resource where retailers can access free and heavily discounted software, assistance, support and sage advice related to everything from successfully digitising their retail operations to navigating government legislation. 

Some of the exclusive deals on offer include:  

  • Vend: Two months free of Vend’s multi-channel retail point of sale software.
  • Google: Advertising and credit for Google Ads.
  • BigCommerce: Three months free of BigCommerce’s ecommerce software.
  • Deputy: Two months free of Deputy’s scheduling, timesheets and communications software. 
  • Marsello: Three months free of Marsello’s loyalty and customer marketing software.
  • Timely: 50% off an annual 12-month subscription for Timely’s appointment bookings software.
  • Pointy: Free online marketing tools for Vend retailers through Pointy, plus $100 Google Ad credit.
  • Aider: Six months free Aider, digital financial assistance software.

Data from Vend reveals that, since coronavirus lockdowns intensified in March, retail activity in Australia and New Zealand has slowed significantly, with many thousands of small businesses isolated from the customers they rely on. The data reveals that, from February to March, retail turnover across Australia dropped by almost one third (28.4%), with April’s retail activity roughly 30% below typical trading levels, making the need for a unified source of support crucial.

Johann Kim, Founder and Managing Director of Pigeonhole, added: “My business has been severely impacted by coronavirus. Until recently we had 10 stores and 65 members of staff across Australia, but we’ve now had to close all our stores and scale back our workforce as we pivot to focus more online.

“It’s a scary time but resources like Vend’s LoveLocalRetail initiative are invaluable. It’s nice to know that, when we need it, there are organisations out there fighting our corner. At a time where it can be difficult to know where to turn for help, the collective offers, guidance and resources it contains are absolutely essential as we recover, respond and build towards Pigeonhole 2.0.”

The LoveLocalRetail collective is made up of Vend, Afterpay, Aider, BigCommerce, BNZ, Deputy, Google, Marsello, Pointy, Prospa, Timely, Tyro and Xero. Companies interested in supporting the LoveLocalRetail initiative to help revive Aussie retailers can find out more and sign-up online, by visiting

What is the motivation behind this coalition?

Commenting on the launch, Dave Scheine, Vend Managing Director for APAC, said: “It’s a tough time for everyone right now, but perhaps for small independent retailers more than most. That’s why  we’ve rallied the help of all our retail friends into one place, to offer our help, support and guidance. Collectively, we’re stronger together and we want to invite other organisations, passionate about retail, to get in touch and join the LoveLocalRetail initiative.

“At a time when the survival of the industry – and the many thousands of small, local, family-run businesses that call it home – is at stake, it’s important to unite, and support them in whatever way we can. These retailers are the bespoke, dynamic and diverse businesses that add colour and diversity to their communities, and if we can help them respond and recover ahead of the retail spring, the industry in Australia still has a beautiful future.” 

Robbie Cooke, Tyro, CEO & Managing Director: “We wanted to be part of LoveLocalRetail because now, more than ever before, businesses of all sizes and specialties need to come together to support each other in any way they can. At Tyro, we’re working with our impacted customers individually to give them the support they need to see this through. The more we all do this, the stronger the whole sector will be when we emerge from the unprecedented situation we’re all facing at the moment.” 

Shannon Ingrey, BigCommerce, APAC General Manager: “As a company with a core mission to support merchant growth, we are so fortunate to be part of a community that comes together to support merchants big and small in their time of need. From ecommerce platforms to point of sale and payments to customer marketing, programs like LoveLocalRetail help ensure that merchants have all the resources necessary to build a lasting online business.”

Brendan Roberts, Aider, CEO and Founder: “There has never been a more important time to come together as a community and show love – sharing ideas, helping improve efficiencies, and working together to plan for what comes next. Now is definitely a time where digital transformation will play a critical role in the success of retail businesses. This is where we as software companies can really come together to support business owners through this evolution.

Matt Dockrell, Pointy, Partner Development Manager: “The impact of COVIDV-19 has been felt around the world – and local retailers need support more than ever. Local stores have long been the cornerstone of communities: businesses attract other businesses, but ultimately it’s about people and forming a community. With local support and smart adaptations, physical retailers can bounce back in the face of COVID-19 and continue to be the lynchpin of communities around the world.”

Jo Blundell, Timely, Chief Product Officer:   “We’re all in this together and it is so cool to see so many business apps pull together to show our support for independent retailers. These businesses are the heart of every vibrant community that I know and love, so it’s important we support them.”