Santa’s not the only big attraction in malls this holiday season. Visa U.S.A.’s Free Gift Wrap campaign is drawing crowds for its third consecutive year – and drawing millions of dollars into participating malls.
This year, Visa and its mall partner, Chicago-based General Growth Properties, Inc. (GGP), expect to exceed the results of last year’s program, which helped generate $23 million in sales at shopping centers across the United States. In fact, when surveyed last year, one-third of gift wrap customers said the Visa Free Gift Wrap promotion had been “very important” in determining where they did their holiday shopping.
From now until December 24, 1997, shoppers in more than 100 participating GGP malls across the country can have as many as three Visa card purchases per day gift-wrapped on site for free by volunteers from local non-profit groups. In exchange, these groups will receive donations from the shopping centers. This cause-related component helped the promotion garner a Merit Award for Excellence from the International Council of Shopping Centers in 1996.
Last holiday season, volunteers from more than 150 groups wrapped 585,000 gifts and earned a combined $512,000 for their nonprofit organizations, which ranged from high school clubs to community service associations to local branches of national charities.
“The program really delivers when and where it’s needed most,” said Tom Edwards, senior vice president, market development and acceptance, Visa U.S.A. “Shopping centers see increased traffic during the most crucial time of year; merchants enjoy higher sales volume; and card transaction volume rises for Visa’s member banks. And, of course, busy shoppers get a helping hand, and nonprofit groups benefit from much-needed donations.”
This year’s free gift wrap program will be promoted through local television, radio and print advertising, as well as in mall and point-of-sale signage.
General Growth Properties is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced shopping center owners, developers and managers in the United States. It currently has ownership interests in, or management responsibilities for, 119 shopping malls in 38 states, encompassing approximately 92 million square feet. This includes a mall recently opened in Waterbury, Conn., and another scheduled to open in July 1998 in Coralville, Iowa. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .
Visa is the preffered payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 memeber financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com].