Gift cards key in reactivating the high street post-Covid

With retail and hospitality venues having finally reopened their doors to the public, new Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) research has found that gift cards are a key driver in encouraging shoppers back to the high streets.

According to a nationally-representative survey of 2,000 UK shoppers, conducted by the GCVA as part of its ‘Gift Back’ campaign, gift cards will encourage over three fifths (63%) of shoppers to get out and support the wide breadth of retail and hospitality venues that are ready to welcome shoppers back to their venues.

The hospitality and retail sectors are heavily relying on customers to return to their venues to support them on the road to financial recovery. GCVA’s research found that 35% of shoppers feel more inclined to purchase gift cards for their favourite brands post-pandemic to help businesses get back on their feet following months of closure.

Specifically, the research found that shoppers intend to suppport local and independent stores post-Covid, with over 15% of consumers intending to shop more often at local high streets and one in eight shoppers planning to visit close-by independent retailers.

Gift cards’ play an integral role in encouraging customers back to their favourite shops and restaurants, as well as increasing brand exposure and expanding their customer base. Keeping consumers loyal to physical stores is fundamental for the survival of our favourite businesses.

This research comes as the Office for National Statistics has reported that the UK economy has grown 2.3% in April of this year, which is the fastest growth since July 2020. This has been attributed to the heavy footfall shopping centres and restaurants have seen after lockdown restrictions began to ease.

Gail Cohen, director-general of the GCVA: “It has been extremely encouraging to see how motivated customers have been to get back out onto the high streets. It is a crucial time to be supporting our favourite businesses as they embark on a road to financial recovery after months out of action.

“Gift cards have played a vital role in reintroducing customers to their favourite brands and shops, whether it be returning to a firm favourite or experiencing a new brand. To know shoppers feel encouraged to return to the high street is reassuring to UK businesses, especially our independent shops which are not supported by a global or national infrastructure.” 

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