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Small town with a big heart hits half million milestone
Enniskillen in Northern Ireland is celebrating after reaching over £500,000 in sales for its local gift card – designed to lock money in locally and drive
Enniskillen in Northern Ireland is celebrating after reaching over £500,000 in sales for its local gift card – designed to lock money in locally and drive footfall
Businesses in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, have been handed a boost of half a million pounds, thanks to sales of its local gift card. The Enniskillen Gift Card launched in 2017, and hit the significant milestone in September 2022.
Enniskillen achieved £140,000 in gift card sales in 2020, £161,000 in sales in 2021, and over £60,000 in sales in 2022 so far. Over 11,000 Enniskillen Gift Cards have been sold since 2017, at an average of £45 per card.
89% of the 130 businesses in Enniskillen who are part of the initiative are independently owned, with the benefit being spread out across sectors. It is free for Enniskillen businesses to accept the gift card.
In 2021, 70% of redemptions of the Enniskillen Gift Card were with retail businesses, 13% with food and drink, 9.3% in health and beauty, and 3.5% with both accommodation and service providers.
With a population of around 11,000, Enniskillen is one of the smaller towns in Northern Ireland. Enniskillen BID – recently voted in for another 5 year term – is behind the gift card initiative.
BID manager Noelle McAloon said shop local resonates with the community:
“We’re incredibly proud to have reached a half million in sales of our Enniskillen Gift Card. Over 11,000 Enniskillen Gift Cards have been sold since 2017, which equates to one gift card for every person in the town.
“People typically spend 65% more when they redeem their gift card, so the true value to the Enniskillen economy is well over £1 million. Our gift card sales have supported our businesses to keep trading, to keep on employing local people and to keep Enniskillen vibrant.
“In a small community like ours, we rely on our local businesses more than you might in larger places. Our community has seen the gift card as an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the local area.
“People buy them as gifts, corporate organisations use them for their staff, and merchants encourage redemption of the cards. Every person who has ever bought, given or received an Enniskillen Gift Card as payment has contributed to the success of the programme.”
Enniskillen BID partnered with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to erect a heart shaped selfie frame in Broadmeadow in 2021, with the castle as a backdrop. Noelle believes that the sculpture is indicative of Enniskillen’s community spirit, saying:
“The heart is somewhere where you can take a photo of Enniskillen but it also demonstrates the love that people have for the town. People are proud to live in Enniskillen, and they want to see our businesses thrive. The gift card is a success because it encapsulates all of that, it’s a way of putting a little bit of Enniskillen in someone’s pocket. We really are the small region with the big heart.”
The Enniskillen Gift Card is one of 6 local gift card programmes in Northern Ireland, with similar initiatives in Antrim, Belfast, Causeway Coast and Glens, Mid Ulster and Strabane. Enniskillen’s gift card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card initiative, active in over 70 places in the UK and Ireland, and was one of top 10 programmes for 2021.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said Enniskillen’s success is well deserved:
“The Enniskillen Gift Card has provided a significant injection into the County Fermanagh economy. It is testament to the hard work of Enniskillen BID in making the gift card a part of the community, and to the community for taking up the call to support local. Enniskillen has proved that local gift card provide a powerful way to drive footfall and lock in spend locally, even in smaller towns.”