Cambridge BID opened a pop up shop in the city on the 3rd December, to sell the Love Cambridge Gift Card to festive shoppers. The Love Cambridge Gift Card was set up in 2018, with 2020 marking the third Christmas for the programme. Over 200 businesses are registered to accept the Love Cambridge Gift Card as payment, and over £25,000 of orders have been received in November 2020, up from £5,500 in November 2019.
“The Christmas pop up shop is a way that we can maximise our sales right up to Christmas,” said Helen Hames, marketing and commercial manager for Cambridge BID. “We tend to get very strong online sales during December but in the last week before Christmas customers are looking to buy in person, and the pop up shop will offer the opportunity for people to pop in and pick up their Love Cambridge Gift Card.”
“We were able to secure a unit in the Lion Yard Shopping Centre in the centre of Cambridge, a high profile location. The pop up shop has opened Thursday – Sunday for the first two weeks of December and it will be open from Thursday 17th December through to Christmas Eve. We have core hours of 10-6pm (11am – 5pm on Sundays) but are looking to be flexible with opening hours and will adapt based on demand and the trading hours of businesses within Lion Yard.
“The unit is also being used to build awareness of the Love Cambridge Gift Card. Window graphics introduce and remind people of the gift card, whilst shoppers can scan a QR code to get straight through to our website and buy the card online.”
Technology for the Love Cambridge Gift Card is provided by Miconex through its award winning Town and City Gift Cards Programme, now active in over 50 towns and cities around the UK and Ireland following the introduction of 19 new programmes in the latter part of 2020.
Many of the largest cities in the UK have Town and City Gift Card programmes, including Glasgow, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Leicester, Cardiff, Belfast, Wolverhampton, Bournemouth, York, Gloucester, Watford, Cheltenham, Exeter, Bath, St. Albans, Halifax and Cambridge.
Initiatives like the pop up shop are helping the BID to continue to develop the Love Cambridge Gift Card says Helen:
“The jump to £25,000 gift card orders in November 2020 has largely come through corporate sales. More companies this year are wanting to reward their staff in a way that supports the local economy, and that’s what the Love Cambridge Gift Card offers.
“Our strapline for the Love Cambridge Gift Card for 2020 is ‘one gift card, thousands of choices’ and we have really worked on building up the range and quantity of places the gift card can be redeemed. There is something for everyone.
“As well as national retailers like John Lewis and M&S, we’ve added new brands to the gift card this year like Primark, which has opened up the appeal of the card to a new demographic. The Love Cambridge Gift Card also has a strong F&B offer, with a number of national and independent restaurants. Independent businesses also feature strongly, like Ark, Boudoir Femme, Cambridge Contemporary Art and Podarok plus eateries like Aromi, Bread & Meat, Nanna Mexico and many many more.
“Like all cities, we haven’t been immune to covid and our tourism market has been particularly impacted. However, we have a strong offer in Cambridge. Our communications with the public are really clear about the changes we have made to make things safer, and actually you can still enjoy food, drinks and shopping in the city. People in Cambridge want to support local, and the pop up shop is one way for them to do that.”