Aberdeen’s own gift card officially launches today (Wednesday, November 25) in time for Christmas, as part of a drive to encourage shoppers to visit the city centre and choose those special presents in person.
The perfect gift to be spent in the city, the Aberdeen Gift Card can be used with a wide range of more than 110 businesses so far, from independents to nationals such as Primark, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, helping to make a big difference at a time when it is most needed.
The project has been developed by Aberdeen Inspired and supported by Aberdeen City Council, with technology provided by Scottish tech firm Miconex, through its innovative Town and City Gift Cards programme, which originated in Perth.
The Aberdeen Gift Card is a prepaid Mastercard that can be used like a debit or credit card on retail, leisure, hospitality and other services in Aberdeen. Cards can be purchased online and redeemed in person in the city, and online too.
Employers can also make bulk orders of the gift card to give to their staff as a thank you for their efforts during 2020.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said the gift card is the perfect way to get behind businesses in the city centre during a difficult time and ongoing restrictions, with a good mix continuing to register to receive the Aberdeen Gift Card as payment.
“This is a perfect way of backing all our businesses and helping them during a turbulent time. They need the support of the public now more than ever, and the Aberdeen Gift Card is a secure, non-contact way to give a gift voucher this year, with all the money kept in our city, supporting local jobs and our economy,” he said. “It’s also a socially conscious option for employers who would like to reward their staff this year while supporting their city centre.
“Christmas will look different for us all this year and as we carry on through a difficult time, we hope that the Aberdeen Gift Card will give the city centre a boost. The recipient can spend the card everywhere from an evening out at the filmhouse and theatre, to a meal in one of our excellent restaurants, a visit to a beauty salon or with our independent and national retailers. We all understand the need to support our city businesses during these challenging times and here is a perfect way of doing so.”
He added: “Normally we’d have the Aberdeen Christmas Village. This year, we’ll have the Aberdeen Christmas Market in the Bon Accord centre and a fantastic light trail throughout the city arranged by Aberdeen City Council.
“Even if people don’t quite feel ready to venture out just now, they can show their support for Aberdeen and its businesses by buying an Aberdeen Gift Card. We all understand the pressures the high street is under at the moment and this is a great chance for us all to get behind them and support our city centre this Christmas and thereafter.”
Councillor Marie Boulton said Aberdeen City Council was pleased to support the Gift Card.
”We are delighted to support the Aberdeen Gift Card which is not only an ideal present for loved ones this Christmas but will also help provide crucial and welcome assistance for our shops, hospitality premises and other service providers which have faced real challenges this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
“We are determined to help the local economy get back to strength post-Covid as outlined in Economic Recovery Plan and the Aberdeen Gift Card will play its part in providing a platform from which to bounce back. The card couldn’t be easier to purchase or use and purchasers and recipients will also have the additional feel-good factor of supporting local jobs and benefitting the local economy this Christmas.”
John Lewis Aberdeen is among the retailers to have signed up.
Head of branch Jamie Wishart said: "The Aberdeen Gift Card is a tremendous collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired and other local businesses that we are delighted to be part of. The Aberdeen Gift Card will support city centre businesses to grow and adapt to the ever-changing retail landscape, as well as encouraging the public to get behind our city centre and support it.”
Managing director of Miconex Colin Munro said the introduction of the Aberdeen Gift Card can support traders through the vital Christmas period.
“Restrictions are ongoing in Scotland and traders continue to adapt as best they can in order to survive. Many people will go onto Amazon to buy their Christmas gifts because it’s easy. But it’s just as easy to buy an Aberdeen Gift Card online for friends and family and have it delivered to them with a message. Amazon has reported a 42% increase in profits, making $7billion in sales on Prime Day alone. Every Aberdeen Gift Card purchased is money staying local and supporting local.”
For more information and to buy the Aberdeen Gift Card, visit www.aberdeeninspired.com