ShopLK, Love Shopping Letterkenny, has reached another important and amazing milestone. Just 16 months after the launch of the ShopLK Gift Card, sales have hit €3million.
Letterkenny Chamber created the ShopLK brand way back in 2004 and added the Vouchers in 2006. Since then sales have increased year on year as Letterkenny people got behind this local shopping initiative, and since moving to the gift card sales have gone from strength to strength.
Gerard McCormick, Chamber President said “We moved from the paper based system to the gift cards in December 2015 and in the first few months we had smashed all our previous sales records. We knew from the reaction of businesses and the general public that we were on to a good thing but reaching €3m worth of sales in such a short time is way beyond even our expectations.”
“This is by far the most successful town scheme in the country and we are also outstripping Shopping Centres with similar gift cards. The cards can only be spent in Letterkenny and we know that at least one third of customers using the card almost always spend more than the value of the card itself. This is a huge amount of money to be circulating in Letterkenny. It not only puts money directly into the hands of local businesses but in turn plays its part in supporting local jobs.”
Welcoming the news, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District, Cllr. James Pat McDaid said, “The Council have been supporting Letterkenny Chamber in the retail promotion initiative for five years now and we are delighted to see ShopLK and Letterkenny being put on the map as a commercial hub and retail centre. Achieving €3m in sales in just 16 months is an amazing boost for Letterkenny. This town has always been a retail centre and ShopLK, Love Shopping Letterkenny, is promoting it on a regular basis. We are also delighted that local people are staying in Letterkenny to shop and socialise and see the ShopLK Gift card as a fantastic gift option.”
ShopLK Gift Cards are accepted in over 160 outlets ranging from hardware stores to beauty salons. You can spend them on your groceries, an oil fill, new tyres, a meal out or even for that special holiday. The list of outlets involved in ShopLK that accept the cards continues to increase and all types of outlets are welcome. Young, old, men or women, it really doesn’t matter who you buy a ShopLK Gift Card for, they will always find a place to spend it. Because it is accepted in so many outlets you can do a whole days shopping, treat the family to a meal and even have a night out on the card.
Toni Forrester Chamber CEO explains how the Gift Cards sales have worked “ShopLK Gift Cards are bought throughout the year by individuals, groups and businesses whose staff have opted to have them instead of cash bonuses. As people are aware many businesses give ShopLK Gift Cards as bonus payments and we have definitely seen these sales increase over the last few years. However, we are seeing new customers from every walk of life, every week as they realise the potential of the card as a gift”
Shop LK is more than just the gift card. It’s about promoting Letterkenny as a retail destination, the commercial hub of the County. With financial support from Donegal County Council Letterkenny Chamber through ShopLK has been able to elevate the ShopLK brand, publicise it across the North West and get local people recognising the value and choice right on their doorstep. The Shop LK – Love Shopping Letterkenny brand helps to underpin all that is good about shopping in Letterkenny for local people and visitors alike.
Letterkenny Chamber makes no money from the sale or redemption of gift cards so every cent brought in through ShopLK is invested back into the promotion of the brand throughout the year.
Acknowledging the support of Donegal County Council Gerard McCormick said “The financial support that we have had from the Council over the last five years has really enabled us to develop the brand and engage more fully with businesses and consumers. It has allowed us to promote Letterkenny across Donegal and the North West and the introduction of the gift card has brought ShopLK to a whole new level.”
“We would also like to thank The Courtyard Shopping Centre that sells our ShopLK Gift Cards direct to the public, having this added visibility has been of immense support to us here in Letterkenny Chamber.”
Letterkenny Chamber could not run this highly successful initiative without the support of DSP Community Employment programme through which the Chamber is staffed. It is the frontline staff in the Chamber that provide the much needed resources throughout the year to make ShopLK such a success and the support of the Department of Social Protection is very much appreciated.