A Staffordshire butcher’s shop is thriving in lockdown after launching an e-commerce site via a new online service that aims to save local high streets.

Russell’s Butchers, in Market Street, Penkridge, said online business has been going so well since it signed up to Ourlocal.uk that it could soon take on an extra pair of hands to cope with demand.

Ourlocal.uk – an innovative company that designs and delivers e-commerce websites for small businesses – has launched a Save Our Shops campaign, helping small firms to get online quickly and at very low cost.

Ray Quarry, who co-owns the shop with Lee Russell, said offering click and collect and a local delivery service via its e-commerce site had added another avenue for sales.

“As we’re an essential shop, we’ve been open throughout the pandemic but when we were told about the Ourlocal.uk site we decided we should give it a go as it’s another way for our customers to place their orders,” he said.

“We’ve just recorded our best week of online orders, with about two thirds coming from new customers, which is great news. Lee and I were talking about going online for ages and this has shown that it was the right thing to do.

“As a local independent shop in a small village, we’re doing all we can to compete with supermarkets and provide a really good, friendly service to our customers and adding the Ourlocal.uk site to the mix has been invaluable. It’s more than paying for itself.

“The Ourlocal.uk guys have been great setting up our e-commerce site and I’m more than happy that it is so easy to use. I can’t fault it and if business keeps up, we’ll have to employ someone to help us with the orders.”

Local entrepreneur Darren Nelson, who recently sold highway maintenance business Carnell Support Services, joined with businessmen Russ James and Andi Elliott to launch Ourlocal.uk and has invested heavily in it to try to help small, independent businesses across the UK. He is also covering all the subscription costs for the duration of the lockdown.

He said: “Hearing success stories like Russell’s Butchers is the reason why I wanted to set up Ourlocal.uk. It’s more important than ever to support local businesses because many of them are struggling. Offering them a low-cost, e-commerce website – which I’ll pay for while lockdown continues – gives them a risk-free chance to try and grow their business.”

Russell’s Butchers is open Tuesday to Saturday. Orders can be placed at: www.russellsbutchers.co.uk. Free delivery is offered up to 3.5 miles away, while there is a small charge for deliveries up to six miles from the shop.