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Multi-generational love for local drives gift card sales in Scotland

Local gift cards are widening their appeal across Scotland, and across the generations, says payments provider Miconex as it reveals the 10 areas of the UK with the highest gift card sales in 2021, including 5 in Scotland.

Aberdeen, East Ayrshire, Perth, East Lothian, Kirkwall, Cambridge, Belfast, Barnsley, York and Enniskillen recorded sales of over £1.2 million for their local Town & City Gift Cards in 2021, a 32% increase on 2020.

Miconex increased the reach of its award winning Town & City Gift Card programme to 70 UK and Irish places in 2021, and launched digital gift cards in December 2021. Analysis of 2021 data shows universal appeal for its local gift cards across the age brackets for both the initial sale of gift cards, and the value of that initial gift card sale.

25-34 year olds lead on gift card transactions but 35-44 year olds lead on gift card value in the UK.

In the UK, 25-34 year olds were responsible for 25.44% of gift card transactions, followed by 35-44 year olds (21.15%), 18-24 (15.79%), 45-54 (14.77%), 55-64 (13.74%) and 65+ (9.11%).

Higher purchasing value for the 35-44 age group placed this segment into top place for local gift card transaction value in the UK (28.96%), followed by 25-34 (19.94%), 55-64 (16.25%), 45-54 (15.87%), 18-24 (9.93%) and 65+ (9.05%).

Women led the way in initial gift card sales and transaction value in the UK at 57%.

In Scotland, Aberdeen secured over £270,000 in sales of the Aberdeen Gift Card in 2021, the highest in the UK, and over £425,000 in total since its launch in November 2020.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Inspired said: “We brought forward the launch of the Aberdeen Gift Card as a means to help businesses to recover from the pandemic, and the people of Aberdeen were quick to show their support for our city.

“The Aberdeen Gift Card can now be spent at over 200 businesses in Aberdeen. The mix of national and independent brands, sectors including retail, hospitality, accommodation, and services, plus the sheer amount of businesses which accept the card, places it streets ahead of single retailer gift cards and is fundamental to the success of the card with both consumers and employers.

“The new digital Aberdeen Gift Card, launched in December 2021, means we can bring even more businesses on board with the gift card, and widen its appeal even further to the growing number of consumers who opt for mobile payments as their preferred way to pay.”

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex:

“It’s really encouraging that support for local businesses is coming from all across the UK, and from all ages. Our places have created a local gift card that people want to buy and receive as a gift. Customers can pick up the gift card and instantly see many, many businesses where they could spend their card. It makes the idea of loving local easy for customers to achieve, and to share with others.

“As well as the number of businesses, the unique mix of hospitality, retail, attractions and services on each card is integral to the success of local gift cards, and is a huge contributing factor to their universal appeal. Whether someone is 18 or 80, there is an activity they’d enjoy, a restaurant they can visit, or a shop they can buy from, all through their gift card.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see the adoption of local gift cards by younger people, in both the 25-34 and 18-24 age groups. These age groups may spend slightly less when they buy the gift card initially, but they back the concept of shop local which is vital for the recovery of our businesses, and the future of our high streets. As we roll out our new digital gift cards, we are continuing on our journey to make shop local easy, convenient and appealing to the whole community.”