MAITLAND is set to become the "first city in the world" to have an all-inclusive CBD digital platform for goods and services.
On Thursday, Panthera Property Group announced plans for the digital strategy in the form of a smartphone app at the Maitland Business Chamber breakfast.
The soon-to-be launched app, RiverShop, will allow operators in The Levee and Maitland CBD to showcase their products or service on an online platform.
It will provide a number of functions including click and collect, loyalty programs, delivery services and appointment bookings.
Chief executive Chakyl Camal - who also owns Riverside Plaza - says he refuses to give up on the Maitland CBD.
"I've spent the last two years developing this app," Mr Camal said.
"I am going to be able to offer every retailer in the strip an ability to have their products in an online store on people's phones.
"Then they can get it delivered within a 10 kilometre radius ... But I want council to come on board.
"It's a unique opportunity for the town ... This is the way that retail need to be going forward. Shopping centres need to be able to provide their tenants with some form of competitive advantage and be relevant."
The Mercury previously reported there were more than 20 empty shop fronts along the city's main strip.
Mr Camal said the development around Rutherford and East Maitland had forced a "decentralisation" of the business and retailer sector in the CBD.
"The CBD has suffered a lot. I would like to lobby for the local businesses in Central Maitland," he said.
"Maitland is the most exciting investment we've made. You cannot create a town centre like the [Maitland] CBD."
RiverShop will officially be launched in four to six weeks, and available to all retailers in The Levee.
Maitland Business Chamber vice president Matt Clifton said the organisation welcomed the Panthera Property Group's plans to launch the platform in the city.
"We think the RiverShop idea is a great initiative for Maitland," Mr Clifton said.
"We love that Panthera is so proactive, and the idea of merging online shopping with bricks and mortar shopping. It makes a lot of sense, and it will cost the community very little to try."
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