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Community welcomes the arrival of the Ashby Gift Card

Community welcomes the arrival of the Ashby Gift Card

Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire has launched its own gift card to provide support for businesses and make local shopping easier

Hopes are high that a new gift card programme for the market town of Ashby de la Zouch will enhance shop local efforts.

The Ashby Gift Card can be spent with over 40 businesses in Ashby, including retail, leisure, hospitality and services. Initially available to buy as a physical gift card, a digital gift card will follow in the coming weeks.

One of the businesses which accepts the new gift card is La Zouch coffee house, restaurant and cellars in Ashby. Co-owner Lynne Utting said:

“We celebrate 40 years of being in business this year and we’ve joined the Ashby Gift Card because it’s a card that people can actually use. I’ve still got a single retailer gift card sitting at home months after receiving it, but if it had been an Ashby Gift Card, it would have been spent in a week as it’s on my doorstep.

“People can buy the Ashby Gift Card instead of a single retailer gift card and the recipient can spend it where they want in Ashby, without the need to travel to a city. The gift card will encourage people into town and to do something a bit different. They may buy a nice bottle of wine, or treat themselves to lunch. With Christmas coming up, the Ashby Gift Card is ideal.

“The good thing about being a part of the Ashby Gift Card is that it’s easy for us as a business. We accept the card like a Mastercard, and don’t have to do anything else. Ashby is a community town and I think we all need to get behind the gift card. The pandemic encouraged people to use local shops more, and the gift card is another way that we can encourage behaviour change, especially with the younger generation.”

Another business welcoming the arrival of the Ashby Gift Card is independent shoe shop The Shoe Box. Owner Maggie Moore said:

“The Ashby Gift Card is a very good idea because it will encourage people to discover what’s on their doorstep and help to boost sales. We’ve been in business now for over 12 years and people are blown away when they come into the store and see the range of styles of offer. The hardest part is often getting people to step through the doorway for the first time, and the gift card could be the push they need.

“It’s wonderful to see the effort being taken in Ashby to showcase the town, with the gift card and with events like Ashby’s big weekend. It makes a tremendous amount of difference when people shop local. It’s putting food on the table for families in our town but it’s also contributing to the vibrancy of Ashby. Ashby just wouldn’t have the same community feel without our independent businesses.”

The Ashby Gift Card is a pre-paid Mastercard that is accepted like any other card payment. When launched, the digital version of the gift card will be able to be uploaded to digital wallets, with payment made via mobile phone.

Helen Cormack is the owner of two women’s clothing stores in Ashby; Goose and The Dressing Room, and believes the new gift card could help to solve gifting dilemmas:

“We live in a society where if we want something, we’ll get it, so finding a thoughtful, appreciated gift is so difficult. The gift card is for the whole of Ashby, so people can buy what they would like to and show their support for Ashby at the same time.

“There is a strong shop local understanding in Ashby. People put local businesses as a port of call if they’re looking for something, and that’s what it’s all about, giving local a chance first. If it wasn’t for local support, my shops wouldn’t be here.

“Ashby already has a good reputation. It’s in a great spot and is a place that people love to visit. The Ashby Gift Card is a way that people can show their love for Ashby and encourage others to visit too. It’s also brilliant to know that Ashby is moving with the times with the digital gift card option, alongside the physical gift card. It will be easy for all ages to get involved.”

Ashby Toolbox accepts the new Ashby Gift Card. Tom Colclough from the hardware store said the ability to spend the gift card on practical items is a benefit:

“Ashby Toolbox is a family run business that has been in the town for 6 years. It makes a massive difference when people shop local and people in Ashby really understand that, and shop local when they can, much more so than in other areas.

“The cost of living crisis is being felt in households and a gift card that can be spent on practical items as well as treats across Ashby could help to ease the financial pressure. Employers could give the card to their staff, and they could use it on DIY items or at one of the many cafes in Ashby for a special occasion. Most people use their cards or mobile phones to pay now, so it’s good that there is a digital side to the card too.”

Ashby BID is behind the gift card initiative. Kate Zamani is a board member at Ashby BID, and owner of Zamanis Restaurant and said:

“We’re pleased to launch the Ashby Gift Card at a time when supporting local has never been more needed. We all value and appreciate our community in Ashby and the gift card is a way that we can preserve what we have, and build a stronger Ashby for the future.

“This is a card that our businesses can accept, that employers can buy for their staff and that consumers can buy as gifts. If each of the approximately 13,000 residents in Ashby bought or were gifted a £50 Ashby Gift Card, that would be £650,000 locked in locally, which means more jobs protected, more businesses open and a stronger Ashby.”

The Ashby Gift Card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card programme from fintech Miconex, active in 70 plus places across the UK and Ireland.

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said: 

“Multi-venue gift cards like the Ashby Gift Card are growing in popularity for the choice and flexibility they offer, over 48.8% of Gen Z opted for a multi-venue gift card in December 2021. Ashby is a small town with an engaged community and it is this strong community that will make the Ashby Gift Card a success.”

The Ashby Gift Card is available to buy online from £5-£500

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