Aberdeen Gift Card Scheme Generates £3 Million Since Launch

The Successful Card

Aberdeen Gift Card has been crowned the UK’s most successful Town & City Gift Card, with almost £600,000 in sales for 2023 creating a major boost for more than 300 shops, businesses and attractions in the Granite City. The gift card has now generated more than £3 million in sales since it was launched by Aberdeen Inspired in 2020, all going back into the local economy. With people spending on average 65% more than the face value of their card, that spending figure in local businesses rises closer to a whopping £4 million.

  • Aberdeen Gift Card ranked as top-selling Town & City Gift Card in UK and Ireland with sales of £590,000 in 2023.
  • More than £3 million in sales have been generated by the Aberdeen Gift Card since it was introduced by Aberdeen Inspired in 2020 – all of it going back into the local economy. 
  • Miconex, which operates 106 Town & City Gift Card initiatives across the UK, says the Aberdeen Gift Card is “the inspiration for local gift card programs around the world.”
  • A targeted campaign encouraging businesses to adopt the Aberdeen Gift Card saw corporate sales soar by 144% from £54,000 in 2022 to £134,000 in 2023 as more organisations use it to reward and retain staff.
  • Third sector and charities are also using the Aberdeen Gift Card to help people in the city.

Miconex, which operates some 106 Town & City Gift Card and Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiatives, said the Granite City ranked top in sales last year in the UK and Ireland at £590,000 – and Aberdeen was “an inspiration for local gift card programmes around the world”.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said he was delighted at the success of the Aberdeen Gift Card and the major boost it brings to “bricks and mortar” businesses in the Granite City.

He said: “The card really is the perfect gift for those who receive it, giving them more than 300 places to choose to spend – be it in shops, restaurants, salons, spas, our fantastic arts venues and even at Pittodrie. But it is also a gift for all the businesses and traders who sign up to the scheme, bringing much-needed revenue through their doors. 

“We introduced the Aberdeen Gift Card to help people support local and to increase footfall in the city centre. These fantastic figures demonstrate that is exactly what has been achieved.”

Mr Watson said not only has the gift card seen some £3 million spent in local businesses since it started, but on average people spend an additional 65% on top of the gifted value when they spend it. That means closer to £4 million has been injected into our local economy. 

“We can’t thank enough the businesses who sign up to the card and the people who use it,” he said.

One of the fastest growth areas for the Aberdeen Gift Card in the past 12 months has been in organisations using it to reward and retain staff, with major players from Shell to Robert Gordon University supporting the initiative. 

A targeted campaign encouraging businesses to adopt the Aberdeen Gift Card saw corporate sales soar by 144% from £54,000 in 2022 to £134,000 in 2023.

Peterson Energy Logistics, the world-leading international energy logistics provider, placed one of the largest orders for the Aberdeen Gift Card over the festive period.

Bob Smith, Head of Operations for Scotland at Peterson Energy Logistics, said: “We have been delighted to support the Aberdeen Gift Card in recent months. The scheme offers a great deal of flexibility, whilst supporting local businesses and encouraging spending with them. 

“As a company, it is important that we give back to the communities we operate in, and investing in Aberdeen and the regeneration of the city centre is a great way to do that. We would certainly encourage other firms to use the Aberdeen Gift Card. It is a great initiative that helps to secure the city’s future.”

Aberdeen Gift Card – which can be bought in person at the Bon Accord Centre or online – is also being used by charities to help people in difficult times. 

Hamish Dear’s Warm Hugs was set up by Aberdeenshire couple Hollie and Kris Dear in memory of their son Hamish who died at the age of three in 2015 after bravely battling neuroblastoma. The charity now helps children with cancer – and their families – get a short break or treats during treatment. Hollie said the charity had purchased 25 Aberdeen Gift Cards each at a £50 value for their heart-warming work. 

She said: “When we looked into the Aberdeen Gift Card we saw it could be used so widely at various places and attractions locally, such as the science centre, or a meal out, or at local shops. We really liked the idea of giving families that kind of flexibility to decide how to spend their days. 

“We also liked the idea it supports local businesses, something we always choose to do that where possible. As a charity, it’s nice to be able to give back because we’ve received a lot of really positive support from the local community.”

Across 2022 and 2023, £1.7 million worth of Aberdeen Gift Cards were issued by Aberdeen City Council to low-income households to relieve hardship while boosting the local economy as part of its pandemic-recovery programme.

Mr Watson said: “It really is heartening to see the Aberdeen Gift Card used in a way that helps to improve lives and support people when they need it. This shows the incredible reach and value of the gift card.”

Aberdeen Gift Card supports a swathe of local, independent traders. Proving popular for local redemptions are much-loved businesses, such as Juniper, AnnieMo’s , James Dun House, Aberdeen Performing Arts , AFC, Craigdon Mountain Sports, Vovem Meat & Liquor, Finnies, The McGinty Group, Attic, Michie’s and Country Ways, Signature Menswear  and Mackie’s 19.2.

Top national retailers for redemptions of Aberdeen Gift Cards in 2023 included Primark, M&S, Boots, Argos, TK Maxx, Next, Sainsbury’s and Aldi.

David O’Neil, Client Growth Director of Miconex, hailed the outstanding success of the Aberdeen Gift Card, which is also available in a digital version, sales of which increased by 49% from £13,000 in 2022 to £21,000 last year.

He said: “The Aberdeen Gift Card’s position as the UK’s most successful Town & City Gift Card in 2023 is well deserved. Aberdeen Inspired continue to innovate with their program with a sustained impact that continues to build year on year. 

“Aberdeen Inspired explores every opportunity to develop their gift card for the benefit of their local businesses and their city. It remains the inspiration for local gift card programs around the world.”

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