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Strabane retailers reaping the benefits from Strabane Gift Cards

25 February 2019

Retailers in Strabane are reaping the benefits of the InStrabane Gift Cards scheme, which saw almost £10,000 worth of vouchers purchased over the Christmas period and almost half of the vouchers having been redeemed in over 180 transactions in the town.

The InStrabane Gift cards are one of a number of new initiatives rolled out by the Strabane Business Improvement District (BID) company in an effort to maximise retail and tourism footfall in Strabane.

BID Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Catherine Collins says the high gift card of sales over Christmas was a great success for the project’s first year and the feedback has been positive from the 70 or so retailers who have signed up to be part of the initiative.

She said: “We are delighted at the success of the scheme and at the number of people who availed of the vouchers over the Christmas period. As well as being a convenient gift, it is a fantastic way of supporting local business and keeping money in the town. Research shows that people who redeem gift cards on average spend 40 per cent more than the value received so the benefit to local businesses is way above the spend figures. We have also seen a healthy uptake over the Valentine’s Day period and an increasing number of businesses signing up to be part of the scheme,” she added.

Stewart Jewellers is one local business who is seeing the benefits of the InStrabane Gift Card scheme. Company owner Tanya Cunningham said: “I am happy to be part of the Gift Card programme. I hope it will bring more people into town and into our shop.  It was easy registering with the Gift Card and I think it is the ideal promotion for us and the town. The In Strabane Gift Card makes things simpler for the visitor, by having an all-in-one gift card they can shop, stay, eat or play on Strabane, without having to use lots of different vouchers.”

Johnny McGonagle, Area Manager for Medicare is also supportive of the scheme saying: “Medicare already has its own gift vouchers but the InStrabane Gift Card is an exciting addition to our retail portfolio.  Medicare are constantly looking for innovative new ways to improve our customer’s experience.  People love choice they can now choose to spend their gift card in businesses of all kinds across Strabane.  We look forward to continuing to work with the BID and all the other businesses in Strabane to boost the local economy.”

Michael Kelly, Chairperson of Strabane BID extended his thanks to local businesses and shoppers who have supported the scheme to date and urged more people to get involved and to support local traders.

He said: “We are delighted with the fantastic support for the gift card since its launch. Cards to the value of almost £10,000 have been sold so far and all of that money will be spent in the town centre.  To have more than 70 businesses now accepting the card is fantastic news, and we are so grateful to employers like Frylite who purchased giftcards at Christmas for all its workforce and who understand the benefits of using the cards as gifts or rewards for their staff. I think the gift cards are a great idea for Strabane and to encourage more shopping in the town centre – it certainly encouraged me!”

The scheme is only the second of its kind in Northern Ireland and offers access to products at shops, restaurants, bars, salons, leisure and entertainment venues in Strabane.

The cards can be valued from £5 right up to £500 and operate like any debit card where users can check the balance on the card at any time on the website or by scanning the QR code on the reverse of the card. 

The Strabane BID company was created last year after Strabane businesses voted in favour of becoming a Business Improvement District, where local businesses work in partnership to raise funds to improve the town centre and the surrounding environment.
The In Strabane’ cards can be purchased online via www.instrabanegiftcard.com or at Café Fresco and the Alley Theatre  and a full list of outlets accepting the cards are also available online.

Businesses who want to sign up can contact the BID team at the Strabane Council offices or register at www.instrabanegiftcard.com/get-involved.