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Downtown Everett gift cards being taken at many merchants

EVERETT — The Downtown Everett Association (DEA) launched a new gift card program late last year to support Everett’s local community and small businesses.
Anyone can purchase a gift card, send it via email or text, and spend it at participating Downtown Everett Gift Card merchants. The DEA gift card can be used at any of the 33 locations that have signed up for the program, including coffee shops, artists, restaurants, yoga studios, jewelers, skate shops, and other retailers.
Madison Vazquez, marketing manager at the Downtown Everett Association, noted that the DEA has sent out $1,500 worth of gift cards, which is 32 individual gift cards, so far and predicts to increase the purchase gradually over the next couple years.
“It’s still pretty small,” Vazquez said. “We are looking to in the future try and partner with some larger organizations that might do our bulk purchasing.”
People can purchase the card online, which is available digitally. When shopping at any of the member locations, customers can present 16-digit numbers on the card for payment at participating stores.
A similar merchant card program has been running at a shopping center in Chicago for about a year and a half and had a lot of success with the school district purchasing cards for end-of-year thank you gifts for faculty, Vazquez said.
“The individual purchasers will continue to be a target; however, the DEA has seen these programs really get their footing when the organizer partners with large employers for gifting,” Vazquez said.
The participating stores are anticipated to enjoy benefits such as increased pre-purchasing and cross-promotion of their businesses through the purchasing platform for the gift card.
Ben Blevins, a manager of the bar, The Flying Pig, which is one of the stores accepting gift cards, said their business is well connected with the community. However, Blevins thinks the program hasn’t been advertised enough, and local people barely know about the gift cards. He added, “no one has redeemed the card at our store yet.” Blevins expects that the gift cards will be activated a lot during the upcoming summer festival season.
“It does function basically just like any other prepaid Visa or Mastercard gift cards that you could get,” Madison added. The gift card program is straightforward, but it is still new, and so people still have a lot of questions about how it works.
Jong Oh, an Everett resident, received the gift card last month. He said he hasn’t used the card yet because not many stores are accepting the card so far. “I hope the number of participating stores will continue to increase,” Oh said.
The Downtown Everett Association is advertising to the general community mostly on Facebook and Instagram. But they are also planning to open a website for full promotion in a couple of months. The DEA will gradually increase promotional measures to expand the participation of local people and partnerships with local businesses.
Gift card are available to purchase through www.downtowneverettwa.org


  

 


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