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Welsh Students Launch Smartphone App to Revitalise the High Street

Myfyrwyr yn Lansio ap Gostyngiadau i Helpu i Adfywio'r Stryd Fawr

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Two Swansea University students have launched an app that will allow people to gain exclusive discounts around Swansea and in turn help local charities and independent businesses.

The smartphone app will allow people to get exclusive discounts at independent shops, bars, restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and gyms while also helping to increase funds for charities.

Tom Robertson and Michael Loney, both 21 and co-founders of GAIN, started the platform while studying Human Geography and Computer Science respectively. They realised that many retailers around the city have a lot of spare capacity, especially between Monday and Thursday. Yet the prices they would charge remained the same.

“What we are doing is generating an extra level of demand for the great independent stores in Swansea,” said Tom.

“We are increasing footfall into their venues and saving customers a little bit of cash at the same time.”

“If independent shops and businesses want to advertise a special offer, they write it on a board and place it on the street. The only people who see this are those who physically walk past the venue. With GAIN, what we allow is the offer to be put online, in front of all our thousands of users.

“That information is geo-located so customers who may be a couple of streets away are very aware of the offers.”

However, it isn’t just local businesses and customers who will benefit from GAIN.

Whenever an offer is redeemed the app will allow the user to choose a regional charity to donate back to. This money comes from the commission that GAIN already generates from bringing extra customers through the door, so there is no additional cost to the business or customer and the money goes directly to a local charity.

“We are a platform that is trying to champion small businesses as well as small charities, to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves and keep our money in the local economy,” says Michael.

The pair say that they were motivated to change the fate of the local economy once they heard that on average only 14% of purchases at chain stores is re-circulated in the local economy, compared to a massive 48% of purchases at independent stores.

GAIN has received support from Swansea University in the form of access to desk space at the Student Incubation Hub on Singleton Campus and support from the Enterprise Team.

You can get more information about the app here via www.gainapp.co.uk and find them on social media using @thegainapp. You can download it for free on the app and android stores and already has discounts available at over 20 venues in Swansea.