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Watford card is the ‘gift of choice’ after bumper 2023 sales
The Watford Gift Card has reached a key milestone for its program, benefiting local businesses and the local eocnomy
The Watford Gift Card was introduced in 2020 as a way to keep money in the town centre. Atria Watford is a popular place for people to buy the local gift card, with over £15,000 of sales in December 2023 alone
The Watford Gift Card has hit its target of over £50,000 cards sold in 2023 – with up to £112,500 set to be spent with local businesses as a result.
Sales of the Watford Gift Card were up 35% on 2022, showing a marked move towards the town’s local gift card in place of alternatives.
The success of the Watford Gift Card also bucks the national trend of consumers spending less on gifting in December 2023, according to Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) data, with a focus on ‘fewer, more considered purchases’.
Christmas shoppers were keen to pick up the gift card whilst out and about with £15,000 of Watford Gift Cards sold in Atria Watford during the festive period alone. Cards can also be purchased online, with both physical and E-card versions available.
Watford Town Centre BID introduced the Watford Gift Card in 2020, replacing the previous shopping centre gift card initiative, and with the addition of high street businesses.
Simon Plumb, Atria Watford centre manager, said it has been a great success:
“We are delighted to continue to support the Watford Gift Card. The year on year growth overall and over £15,000 of sales made at the mall kiosk in December alone demonstrates that customers want and value the flexibility that the card provides.
“Shopping local is now an important driver for consumer spend and tenants of the shopping centre and the town centre as a whole benefit from increased sales and meeting the needs of those loyal Watford customers.”
Over 140 businesses now accept the Watford Gift Card across a range of sectors, like retail, hospitality and leisure/attractions. Popular nationals for people to redeem their Watford Gift Card in 2023 and early 2024 include M&S, Primark, Next, Lush and JD Sports. The historic Watford Palace Theatre, a registered charity, was the most popular independent for people to spend their Watford Gift Cards.
Glen Hempenstall is marketing and communications manager at Watford BID and said:
“It’s fantastic to see the Watford Gift Card going from strength to strength and fast becoming the gift of choice in our local area. Even against a backdrop of consumers spending less at Christmas 2023, people see our card as a gift that offers flexibility, choice and support for local too. We know that convenience is key when people are purchasing gifts, and that’s why our partnership with Atria Watford is so important, it puts the gift of choice in customer’s hands right when they need it.”
The Watford Gift Card is part of the multi-award winning Town & City Gift Card programme from fintech Miconex.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said:
“Over 90% of people spend over the value of their gift card on redemption with 33% spending 100% - 125% more than the value of the card. With over £50,000 Watford Gift Cards sold in 2023 alone, the impact for Watford businesses as cards are spent is significant. In 2024, the shop local trend will continue to gather pace, as consumers and organisations seek out options that offer choice, flexibility and support for local, which is exactly what the Watford Gift Card provides.”