KITCHENER -- A new app allows people to map out local stores before heading inside to allow for faster shopping trips.

"If we have to go out, let's make it a little easier to go to these stores," said Caleb Opersko, CEO of Spot It Mapping. "Our first and foremost priority is to help those small, independent stores."

Opersko said the app shows store layouts and allows people to search for items with the stores.

"I think it's a great peace of mind for some of our clientele to come knowing where to go," said Josh Williamson, director of operations at Central Fresh Market.

Williamson said it's also helpful for people who haven't been in the store before and might not know the layout.

Staff are also using the app for online order.

"Some of our new, younger employees who've never worked in the grocery department have used the app to find out where some items may be in our store to fill the orders," Williamson said.

Andrew Williams, the manager of Swanson's Home Hardware, said it can be tough going up against larger corporations, especially during the pandemic.

Williams plans on using the Spot It app to help local shops and their customers feel stronger together.

"(People) who are part of the community for generations, it does help us get on the same level," he said.

"People still do a majority of shopping in stores, so we just want to make sure that they do that safely," Opersko said.