Five new companies sign up to In Strabane Gift Card Scheme
Five additional local companies have this month signed up to the BID Sponsored In Strabane gift card scheme, which aims to encourage more people to shop in the town.
C&Co, Houston’s Homewares, Peacock’s, Trades Man NI and Joseph Harley Ltd are the most recent companies to sign up to be part of the Master-card based gift card scheme that can be used as part of a full payment for purchases across a network of businesses in Strabane.
The card operates in the same way as any department store or shopping centre gift card that can be spent in any of the 70 or so businesses across Strabane that are already signed up.
The scheme was set up as part of Strabane BID in an effort to promote the town’s unique retail offering and provide a boost for independent retailers throughout the year.
Ryan Gormley from Cliento Designer Wear, is one of the retailers who has signed up. He retails in an extensive range of luxury fashion and home interiors and is fully supportive of any initiative aimed at encouraging local shopping.
He said: “We feel it is important to be part of such schemes as it has benefits for both buyer and retailer. The more stores and companies that take part the more redemption options the buyer has; with increased variety and participation people are encouraged to purchase the gift card and shop local. Any retail business will obviously benefit from support from local trade and therefore buyers within local catchment areas are vitally important.”
John Houston from Houston Homewares on Market Street says he hopes participation in the scheme will see increased local trade and customer loyalty for his range of home décor, home accessories , lighting and giftware products.
He said: “Local trade is extremely important to our business as we are focused on sourcing quality and unique products and offering a full home interior solution for the people in the Strabane area. We aim to maintain an attractive store-front and window display to improve the town centre street we trade from and are hopeful being part of this scheme will further enhance and improve our business opportunities in the town.”
Sinead Lynch, Business Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, welcoming the addition of the new companies said retailers in the town are really seeing the benefits of being part of the initiative. One retailer, BeJeweled at Soul, recently achieved over £1,000 sales through the gift card. It is definitely encouraging people to return to traditional shopping methods by visiting the town centre and calling into the wide range of local shops.
“We believe it is really important for all of the small local businesses to work together to promote Strabane’s retail offering and support the work being done on the ground by all businesses, the chamber of commerce and the Strabane BID Company to encourage spend in Strabane town centre and help build the economy. We are fully supportive of any initiative that promotes Strabane and raises its profile as a great place to visit and shop,” she said.
This is just one of a number of initiatives to be rolled out by the BID company, who have been working closely with traders in Strabane on a range of initiatives aimed at increasing retail and tourism footfall.
The company was created in 2016 after Strabane businesses voted in favour of becoming a Business Improvement District, where local businesses pay a 1.5% levy and work in partnership to raise funds to improve the town centre and the surrounding environment.
Sinead added that Council is very keen to step up efforts to encourage more companies who want to reward staff to use the Gift Card. Not only is it a good staff incentive but it is a great way of supporting local business. The gift cards can be purchased in bulk at a discounted rate, and the cards can be valued from £5 right up to £500.