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The Aberdeen gift card has been heralded as the most successful local scheme in the UK with record breaking sales reaching nearly half a million pounds since its launch a little over a year ago.

The scheme, which was brought to the city by Aberdeen Inspired is part of the organisations drive to aid business in their recovery from the pandemic. Groundbreaking developments such as the digital version of the card, unveiled just before Christmas, and considerable buy in from local organisations have helped sales skyrocket to record levels.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Inspired said, “It’s fantastic to see the people of Aberdeen supporting their city centre and in turn supporting local retailers, restaurants and the likes through buying an Aberdeen Gift Card. As we navigate through Covid-19 we are grateful for the support shown to the city centre by the public and continue to encourage North-East consumers to continue to safely support Aberdeen City Centre’s brick and mortar businesses, at a time where it has never been more needed.

“In December alone sales topped £190,000 up 37% on the previous year underlining the public’s desire to support the local economy and shop local at the hundreds of businesses who accept the card. On average a person gifted a card will spend an additional 40% on top of the cards value when redeeming it, so it really is delivering a much-needed boost to the local economy.

“We are reassured by how popular this scheme has become with companies such as Shell, CNR, Aberdeen Performing Arts and Aberdeen Harbour Board amongst many organisations who have showed support at a corporate level by choosing to purchase local gift card cards for their employees in the run up to Christmas rather than buying from a national scheme like Amazon.

“We are confident that it will continue to go from strength to strength with the introduction of the digital offering which opens the scheme up to the growing number of consumers who choose to use their phones as their primary method of payment. This also allows almost every business in the city the chance to be part of the Aberdeen Gift Card scheme as most places now accept mobile payment methods.”

The introduction of the new digital gift card in December now gives customers the ultimate choice to buy a card to sit in their purse or wallet or on their phone in their digital wallet. With a growing trend towards mobile payment technology, by 2023 it is estimated that 12 million people will use their phones as their primary payment method and that during 2022, mobile payments will overtake cash and credit card as the preferred payment method, second only to debit card.

Colin Munro, Managing Director at Miconex said, “Aberdeen Inspired has demonstrated skill, innovation and creativity in the launch and development of the Aberdeen Gift Card. They have created an unbeatable customer proposition, a gift card that can be spent with over 200 businesses in the city across a wide variety of sectors, building its desirability as a consumer and corporate gift. They have worked successfully with the local authority and other key stakeholders to make the Aberdeen Gift Card integral to city strategy and messaging. And they have continued to develop their gift card with the launch of digital.

“It is these activities and more which have made the Aberdeen Gift Card not only the most successful Town & City Gift Card in Scotland, but the most successful across the whole of the UK and Ireland, and a blueprint of how local gift cards can transform communities and take a proactive, long-term approach to the challenges faced by the high street.”

The Aberdeen Gift Card is part of the wider Scotland Loves Local card, a national scheme which aims to keep spend local for longer in every community and region across Scotland. Phil Prentice, Chief Officer at Scotland’s Towns Partnership who are spearheading the drive of the national scheme commented “It’s great to see businesses and corporates in Aberdeen embracing the Scotland Loves Local Town and City Gift Card. This is the simplest way to rebuild a sustainable economy - the card locks all spend in Aberdeen, there is a multiplier effect, local supply chains get stronger and all Aberdonians get to see the benefits.”

The Aberdeen Gift Card has also been backed by companies in the city who opted to buy it as a gift or reward for employees at Christmas time. Around forty city businesses have so far showed support for the scheme with corporate orders totaling more than £65,000. Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Harbour Board commented, “The Aberdeen Gift Card proved to be a successful way to thank our 100 employees, and we are pleased that the proceeds will directly support local businesses which are navigating through post-lockdown challenges. Our congratulations go to Aberdeen Inspired for their success with the Aberdeen Gift Card since 2020.”

The Aberdeen Gift Card scheme is free for any business to be part of and does not cost the consumer anything. Unlike single store gift cards the city scheme offers the consumer a wide choice of where to spend their gift and the more businesses which are part of the scheme the more attractive the product becomes. On average a person gifted a card will spend an additional 40% on top of the cards value when redeeming it, so it really pays for local businesses to be part of the scheme. Aberdeen Inspired welcome any business who want to join the scheme to get in touch.