A Sheffield city centre gift card scheme has been launched by Sheffield’s Business Improvement District (BID).
The Sheffield Gift Card can be used at participating businesses in Sheffield city centre. The card works in the same way to a store gift card but can be redeemed at a wide range of retailers, restaurants, leisure and entertainment venues here in Sheffield city centre.
Whilst own-brand gift cards are common place in retailers and shopping centres across the UK, a place gift card is the first of its kind for a major city centre in England. More than 60 city centre businesses have already signed up to accept the card including high street brands, independent retailers, food and drink venues, salons, visitor attractions, cinemas and theatres.
The Sheffield Gift Card can be purchased easily and quickly online via a dedicated website (www.sheffieldgiftcard.co.uk) and can be loaded with anything from £5 to £200.
Sheffield BID believes the new city centre gift card will help encourage a higher level of city centre spending and increase footfall post-Christmas and in the long term.
Leading Sheffield city centre businesses to sign up to the gift card so far include the iconic Sheffield institution Atkinson’s, independent café Ink and Water, popular high street footwear brand Schuh, coffee wonderland Mangobean, high street favourites M&S, Debenhams, John Lewis, Thorntons, restaurants such as Silversmiths, Cubana and Piccolinos, plus many, many more.
Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager said: “The project will help increase trade in the city centre, helping us to compete against nearby retail destinations, such as Meadowhall, and online shopping sites such as Amazon and Ebay.
“It is an opportunity to lock in spend into the city centre economy, attracting new customers and more business.
“A gift card scheme for Sheffield city centre will provide a highly efficient sales and marketing tool. It will also enable our independent businesses – who could otherwise not afford a card programme – to benefit from more visits, new customers and additional sales.
“This card will benefit both individual businesses and the city centre as a whole.
“Recipients of the gift card will have the flexibility to spend the card throughout the city centre and won’t be restricted to spending the value at a single business. With Christmas around the corner, our gift card is the perfect local gift for people in Sheffield”.
Museums Sheffield is just one of the businesses that have already signed up.
Jennifer Cocker, head of finance and corporate services at Museums Sheffield, said: “Museums Sheffield is a charity, so every purchase in our shops makes a vital contribution to the work we do across our museums and galleries. The Sheffield Gift card scheme provides another great way for our visitors to shop with us and we’re delighted to be part of it.”
Sheffield BID is also expecting the gift cards to become a popular birthday or wedding present, an employee incentive or a simple-way to mark an anniversary or say thank you.
The gift card design was done by local artist Matt Cockayne (who designed Hendophant for the Herd sculpture trail).
The Sheffield Gift Card can currently be bought online at a dedicated website – www.sheffieldgiftcard.co.uk. Sheffield BID is also planning to install self-service machines next year.