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Bumper July for Bristol as ‘shop local’ gift card sales soar

On the first anniversary of the launch of the Love Bristol Gift Card, the programme is celebrating its most successful month to date.

17/08/2023

BID Lead

Bristol shoppers are making the switch to the city’s local gift card for their gifts with over £13,000 of Love Bristol Gift Cards purchased in July alone.

The Love Bristol Gift Card launched in the city in summer 2022 as a means to encourage local spending in Bristol, led by the three central Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Cards can be spent with over 160 Bristol restaurants, shops, salons, hotels and attractions.

As well as being purchased, recipients have been keen to spend their Love Bristol Gift Card too. One of the most popular Bristol venues for people to spend their Love Bristol Gift Cards in July was harbourside multi-arts venue Watershed. Ellie Kirby from Watershed said:

“It’s so exciting that the Love Bristol Gift Card has had its most successful month to date, locking money into the city, and we’re thrilled that people are spending their cards with us at Watershed. 

“One of our key organisational values is inclusivity, so we’re constantly striving to ensure our venue has something for everyone – from our 3 cinema screens, accessible and baby screenings, live music, creative tech studio and locally stocked café and bar. There’s lots happening in August too, with a family Pixar cinema season with tickets at £5 for everyone, kids’ space and kids’ menu, plus cocktail happy hour every day between 5pm and 7pm.

“The Love Bristol Gift Card has a great offering and we’re proud to be a part of it, supporting our city. I think the gift card puts venues on people’s radar that they might not have visited otherwise. Once they’re through the door, they have the opportunity to see what’s on offer, hopefully becoming regular customers. We’d love to welcome even more people into the Watershed to spend their Love Bristol Gift Card with us.”

Lebanese restaurant Lamaya joined Bristol’s food scene in April, and is already a popular place for people to spend their Love Bristol Gift Card. A family business run by Mike and Maya, Maya says they have been welcomed by the community:

“Lamaya prides itself on quality, traditional Lebanese food prepared using fresh ingredients from local suppliers with lots of vegan and vegetarian options and a really nice location near to the floating harbour. The Love Bristol Gift Card is an absolutely fantastic idea and we were happy to join the program and accept the card. Our most popular menu items include our sharing platters featuring hot and cold mezzas which look beautiful and taste amazing.

“Bringing in new customers is absolutely important, and even though we haven’t done much advertising we’ve been fortunate to have had huge support from locals since opening. Being a part of the gift card brings increased awareness of our brand, so we can share our passion for Lebanese food and build our reputation in Bristol.”

 

During prom, wedding and graduation season, Bristolians have been using their Love Bristol Gift Card to buy their suits and formal wear. Mark Fullwood from Slater Menswear said the card is a real positive for Bristol:

“Slaters is a family run business, celebrating its 50th year, and offers a massive range of suits for all occasions with free alterations. Buying a suit can be daunting and customers really appreciate the personal service and advice on cut, fit and style. We’ll often get large groups of people for wedding parties and it’s so satisfying to see everyone in their final fitted suits.

“Being a part of the Love Bristol Gift Card has been really positive for Slaters, with people using the cards for anything from wedding suits to smart casual wear and they’ll tend to use the gift card balance and spend a little more on top.

“The Love Bristol Gift Card is a great gift and what better way for corporate businesses to reward their staff. People often use their gift card to buy work attire, so it’s practical but they’ll also feel good going into work in their new suit. It brings people into the city centre, and they’ll do more whilst they’re here, like get a coffee, keeping more money locked into Bristol.”

 

Alongside independent businesses, national brands also accept the Love Bristol Gift Card, such as Boots, Lush and Sainsbury’s. Available as a physical paper card, or as a digital card that can be uploaded to digital wallets, the card is a more sustainable gifting option.

Bristol City Centre BID, Redcliffe & Temple BID and Broadmead BID are behind the Love Bristol Gift Card.

Steve Bluff, Head of Redcliffe & Temple BID, said:

“July sales of the Love Bristol Gift Card were driven by gifts for teachers and corporate rewards. It’s fantastic to see both consumers and organisations making the switch to a gift card that keeps spend in our city, and gives the recipient more choice.”

Vivienne Kennedy, head of Broadmead BID, said:

“We’re proud of what has been achieved with the Love Bristol Gift Card to date, benefiting businesses of all types and sizes across our city.”

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID, adds:

: “One year on from the launch of the Love Bristol Gift Card and it is going from strength to strength. If you were given a card in July, then now is the time to get out spending it and experiencing all that Bristol has to offer.”

The Love Bristol Gift Card is part of the Town & City Gift Card initiative active across the UK and Ireland, operated by fintech Miconex.

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said:

“What makes the Love Bristol Gift Card so attractive for organisations and consumers is the choice that’s on offer through the card. This is a gift, a reward or an incentive that works for all ages and interests. And, because it’s a pre-paid Mastercard, it’s as easy to spend as a debit card in over 150 Bristol businesses.”
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