East Ayrshire gift card: success of the initiative in the United Kingdom

The East Ayrshire gift card has been named one of the most successful in the UK for 2021.

Financial Times January 2022 data reveals that in East Ayrshire, local sales since March 2020 are up 5.7% on what would have been expected before the pandemic, grocery sales having increased by 119.9%.

East Ayrshire introduced the East Ayrshire Gift Card and ShopAppy in 2020.

Gift cards worth over £250,000 were sold in 2021, making it one of the most successful local gift cards in the UK.

Peter Telfer, chief executive of Urquhart Opticians and chairman of the Kilmarnock Business Association, said the collaboration can help places access funding.

He said: “A shared vision to improve the high street and working with the Cumnock Business Association and East Ayrshire Council enabled us to secure the funding we needed.

“Collaboration avoids duplication. Without it, good work can be done with good intentions, but when we work together it allows us to push through with a stronger message.

“The pandemic has been a big leveler in East Ayrshire. Different organizations had to come together and were very motivated to make it work. It’s not about the companies on one side and the town hall on the other, we’re all on the same team.

READ MORE: Pioneering work to boost business in East Ayrshire recognized by awards body

Speaking of the success, Tracy Murray, town center regeneration manager at East Ayrshire Council, said: “The high street has changed. People have to buy into the services you offer and for that they have to be useful to them and we all have to work together; the council, the professional association and the companies themselves.

“For us, our local gift card and ShopAppy go hand in hand, it was about facilitating the trend of online shopping, but keeping the local edge.

“We have applied for funding from Scotland’s Towns Partnership to launch a digital shopping street using ShopAppy, businesses can register and sell their products on their online marketplace.

“Customers who may not have been ready to visit stores in person were able to use their East Ayrshire gift card for click and collect or online home delivery.

“Others would look on ShopAppy before a visit to town.”

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