Great Britain

Sunderland businesses thrive thanks to new gift card scheme

HIGH Street favourites and independent businesses have all benefited from a gift card scheme.

Over the Christmas period recipients of the Sunderland Gift Cards – which were launched in November – spent thousands of pounds in dozens of retail and hospitality outlets.

And the additional good news for businesses is there is still a huge number of cards which are waiting to be redeemed once lockdown is over.

The card scheme, the result of a partnership between Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, now has 120 businesses signed up to accept it.

While many of the 1900 cards sold have not been spent, other shoppers have taken advantage of them, cashing in at clothing stores such as Primark, Aphrodite, Jack and Jill and Bou-Chique and restaurants including 2 Church Lane, Asiana, San Marino at Chester Road and the Stack Seaburn.

Stores such as Lush, Marks & Spencer and Boots also received a share of the spend, while many people chose to use them to stock their festive food cupboards, buying items at Robsons, Ibbitson’s and Greggs.

Flower shops were also a popular place for people to use the cards, with Ashbrooke Florists, Bethanys Florists and Charlotte’s House of Flowers all benefitting.

Many of the city’s independents also saw shoppers spend with them, including Ginka, Dream Candy, Made by Sally and Port Independent.

“The gift card was fantastically well received and we are delighted to see so many businesses benefiting from them,” said Sharon Appleby, head of business operations, at Sunderland BID.

The hope is now that people will continue to buy the cards for other occasions.

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