University to back independent retailer card

June 04 2013

The University of the West of England is looking to invest in an initiative which aims to support local, independent retailers.

The University of the West of England is looking to invest in an initiative which aims to support local, independent retailers. Your Street Gift Cards
YourStreet Ltd is a new multi-store gift card which can be purchased online and redeemed only in independent stores and services, with many Gloucester Road traders already signed up to the scheme.
UWE is looking to invest between £30-£50,000 in the scheme. The cards will be given as a welcome gift to new students coming to Bristol in September 2013. Each student will receive a card pre-loaded with £10.
Set up by Bishopston residents Anne-Louise Perez and Imogen McIntosh, the idea was conceived after the pair struggled to buy a friend’s 40th birthday present from Gloucester Road, finding it too difficult to decide where to spend the money they had clubbed together.
They felt a gift card for independent retailers would not only give the customer the “gift of choice”, but would  be hugely beneficial to the community.
“YourStreet is about bringing footfall and spend to the high street and its fantastic independent traders,” says Anne-Louise.
“We are presenting a channel and opportunity for independent retailers to have a slice of the £4 billion currently spent in the UK on gift cards.”
YourStreet is the first multi-store gift card in the UK for independent businesses.  
John Rushforth, the deputy vice-chancellor at UWE, said the finer details were being worked out but the university was pleased to be backing a local initiative. He said: “This is a great idea that serves several purposes. It encourages students to shop locally, helping them settle in, while also supporting our former student Imogen McIntosh.
“The vibrant and diverse retail sector in Bristol is a real attraction and benefit to students here.”
The university already has a range of initiatives and services set up to help small businesses, including a regular farmers’
market on Frenchay Campus.
Purchasing a gift card is currently done through the YourStreet website.
The receiver of the card has to activate it online, and then they are able to spend it in any of the shops listed on the website’s directory. There are currently around 50 retailers on board.
The YourStreet Gift Card is to formally launch on June 22 at 102 Cookery School on Gloucester Road. It is set to be a high profile event with attendance from Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson, Tom Baker, one of TV’s Fabulous Baker Brothers, and representatives from UWE, as well as entertainment.
To find out more about the scheme, visit www.yourstreetgift cards.com.