Unique programme for city

Gift card boost to Perth’s independent firms

Colin MunroA new gift card, believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland, is being aimed at helping independent businesses compete with the national chains.

The Perth Card programme will allow users to spend their pre-paid money at local retail and hospitality businesses in the city.

Unlike other gift cards it will give users the flexibility of spending as much as they want in different shops and restaurants.

Digital marketing firm Miconex, which is launching the card in partnership with Perth & Kinross Council and Scandinavian firm Presend, believes it will be the first of its kind in Scotland, but is hoping to roll-out similar card programmes across the UK.

Similar projects in Scandinavia have generated as much as £500,000 to the local economy.

Colin Munro (pictured), chief executive at Perth headquartered Miconex, said: “It essentially works in exactly the same way as any gift card, but instead of being limited to one retail outlet this can be used in various unconnected shops throughout the city.

“And it can also be used for more than just shopping. Perth Concert Hall has signed up along with other local attractions and venues, there are jewellers, award winning restaurants and cafes, specialist retailers, hotels and of course some great options to pamper yourself.

“Therefore, as long as the person has enough money on the card, they could go for a haircut, do some shopping, take in a show and then go for a nice meal, and if there’s any money left over they can just save it until the next time they want something in Perth.”

Other leading Perth names to sign up to the gift card include McCash’s Country Store, Blend Café, Charlie Taylor Hair & Beauty, Scone Palace and one of the city’s oldest independent department stores, McEwen’s.

The cards can be purchased online or in person at four businesses in the city and plans are under way for a kiosk to be introduced that will enable cards to be purchased on a self-service basis.

The council’s city development team helped fund the initial cost and much of the marketing expenditure.

David Littlejohn, head of planning & development at Perth & Kinross Council, believes the gift card could be a huge boost to the independent business in Perth and the local economy.

He said: “We believe this will really help to promote the “shop local” ethos. We know that Perthshire people are proud of their region and keen to do whatever they can to keep the money in the local economy, but that’s sometimes hard when buying gift cards for family and friends at Christmas.

“However, the Perth Gift Card completely eliminates that problem and the renowned quality of the 50+ businesses involved makes it an extremely compelling choice. “

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