The Love Camberley Gift Card encourages residents to shop locally
Over 70 businesses in the town are registered with the scheme which has been developed in association with Scottish tech firm Miconex, making it the first Town and City Gift Cards programme in Surrey.
The gift card programme works like local currency through the Mastercard network and is the latest initiative from Collectively Camberley, the not for profit business improvement district (BID) that supports businesses in the town centre.
The Love Camberley Gift Card replaces the previous gift card from The Square Shopping Centre. Footfall data released by Collectively Camberley and The Square shows a 13.8% increase in footfall against national shopping centre averages and an 8.1% increase against the South East region.
The Love Camberley Gift Card is a really great recovery tool for our town in the post covid world, said BID Manager Jodie MacAndrew. The Square Shopping Centre had a successful gift card scheme but proposed that we develop a new scheme as the BID for the whole town centre. We began talking to Miconex in June this year. By mid-June we had commenced planning.
Our goal with the town wide gift card is for money to be spent locally in Camberley, rather than being spent in the surrounding towns. It is a positive move for both business and shopper confidence.
Businesses need simple programmes to help them to rejuvenate sales, and thats what the Love Camberley Gift Card does. Its quick and easy for them to register to receive the card as payment and, other than their BID fee, there are no extra charges.
Camberley has started to welcome people back into town in various ways and through several recovery projects, including the free parking scheme from Surrey Heath Borough Council that was a very generous offering compared to surrounding areas. We need to encourage people back into town in a careful way and the Love Camberley Gift Card does that.
Were having to think of new ways to do things, for example the Christmas light switch on which usually attracts 50,000 people into the town centre throughout the day, is simply not a safe or responsible event to run like it has done historically. What we are doing instead is breaking up our Christmas celebrations over two Saturdays in November and December. We want and need the footfall for our businesses, but we have to do this in a trickle rather than en-masse. We also want our residents and visitors to still have a Christmassy atmosphere when coming into Camberley and give people festive celebrations, especially after the last few months.
The Christmas season brings in a large majority of annual targets for most businesses. The Love Camberley Gift Card is a way people can give a wonderful gift that can be spent in over 70 local businesses, and support our town at the same time. Camberley residents have been supporting businesses during lockdown and reopening by having takeaways from pubs, using their local coffee shops and rebooking appointments and we hope theyll continue to support their local businesses through the Christmas period and beyond.
Every week from now until January there will be a new promotion to raise awareness of the gift cards. At the moment, the promotion is a free gift when you load a Love Camberley gift card of £20 or over. There is also a town centre puzzle hunt where visitors can win a loaded gift card to spend where they choose.
We talk about Camberley cash, because thats what the Love Camberley Gift Card is about, keeping cash locally in our town.
Since Miconex launched its first Town and City Gift Card programme in Perth in 2015, over £1.5m has been spent through its schemes. There are over 40 places in the UK with Town and City Gift Card programmes, and over 6000 businesses registered.
As well as Camberley, new Town and City Gift Card programmes have launched in Southport, East Ayrshire and Leicester with Barnsley, Falkirk, Bury St. Edmunds, Knowsley and an additional Perthshire scheme to follow.
Managing Director of Miconex Colin Munro said that gift card programmes are vital for town centre recovery efforts:
The Love Camberley Gift Card will enable the town to tap into the shop local sentiment that already exists in Camberley and convert that into footfall and spend. Collectively Camberley are doing everything they can to make sure businesses have a good Christmas but also a good quarter 1 trading period, because most gift cards purchased for Christmas presents will be redeemed in the first few months of the year.
Camberley has been one of the quickest turnarounds for setting up a Town and City Gift Cards Scheme. It helped that The Square already had an understanding of our successful Cambridge Gift Card programme. Everyone involved was keen to ease the transition between The Squares gift card and the new Love Camberley Gift Card, and Collectively Camberley pulled out all of the stops to get businesses on board, working with us to get the programme up and running.
Its fantastic to see Camberley leading the way in Surrey to promote their town, keep money local and boosting local economy recovery at this crucial time for businesses.
Trespass, Claires Accessories, H&R News, Waterstones, Julian Charles, Cool Merchandise, Deichmann, Holland and Barrett and McDonalds are just some of the businesses who have signed up to receive the Love Camberley Gift Card as payment. Mark Schweizer, franchise owner of McDonalds in Camberley High Street said: We are delighted to be part of the excellent Love Camberley Gift Card scheme. This new local initiative allows users easy access to shop in their favourite brands, helping create a safe contactless shopping experience whilst also keeping the spend local within the town centre. With Christmas rapidly approaching it is difficult to think of a better gift, which offers unparalleled shopping choice across our wonderful town.
The Love Camberley Gift Card is available to buy at The Square Shopping Centre or online at https://camberleygiftcard.co.uk/
Follow @LoveCamberley on social media for town centre and gift card news.