A website claiming to help independent high street retailers compete with the supermarkets began a trial last week.

The Open High Street website offers small independent stores the chance to show off their ranges on one website.

Shoppers can then buy individual items from multiple stores and receive them grouped into a single delivery costing £5. Retailers are charged a flat commission of 10%.

The scheme is currently trialling in Hereford, with the first five of 10 retailers - including a butcher, a baker, a greengrocer and an artisan cheese shop - signed up.

“The prime focus is the survival of small, local businesses,” said a spokesman for Inzenka, which developed the project. “Consumers can still go shopping on the high street - but then have it aggregated into one delivery. A lot of similar schemes have failed because shops used individual couriers or Royal Mail. Our aggregated delivery makes this proposition unique.”

The website has received backing from the government’s Technology Strategy Board and a five-strong consortium, including fmcg giant Unilever.