Appreciate strikes UK-wide e-gift vouchers deal

Based in Liverpool city centre Appreciate Group offers savings, vouchers and corporate rewards and its deal with PayPoint will see e-gift vouchers sold in 28,000 retailers. Tony McDonough reports

Ian O'Doherty
Ian O’Doherty, chief executive of Appreciate Group

 

Liverpool savings, vouchers and corporate rewards business Appreciate Group has has struck a deal to sell its Love2Shop e-gift vouchers in 28,000 retailers across the UK.

Appreciate, which employs around 250 people in Liverpool city centre, has agreed a deal with PayPoint, which offers electronic payment services via newsagents and convenience stores across the country.

Love2Shop e-gift vouchers can be spent in multiple high street retailers including Argos, Sainsbury’s, Currys, Asda, Marks & Spencer, B&Q and Uber Eats. Appreciate is also working with PayPoint to supply its retailers with marketing support.

Ian O’Doherty, chief executive of Appreciate Group, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Appreciate Group as the partnership provides our first physical distribution network for Love2Shop e-gift cards. Overnight, it provides us with a network of 28,000 stores that reach into the heart of communities throughout the UK.

“Following recent success in building out our digital offering, this agreement further enhances our offer and adds depth to how customers can access our products. Looking ahead, working with partners who we believe can strengthen our proposition and help us drive growth, such as PayPoint, is a key component of our plans for future growth.”

Formerly known as Park Group, Appreciate relocated from its original home in Wirral to 20 Chapel Street in Liverpool city centre in 2019. In November 2020 it closed its decades-old Christmas hampers operation to focus on financial services. It sold its old HQ for around £3m.

AIM-listed Appreciate is now fully focused on Christmas savings, vouchers and pre-paid cards for retailers and corporate rewards. The firm reports what it calls ‘billings’. This represents the value of goods and services shipped and invoiced to customers, net of VAT, rebates and discounts.

In the 12 months to March 31, 2021, total group billings, including a free school meals initiative, came in at £406.5m. This is lower than the £419.9m reporting for the year to March 31, 2020.

The company said underlying billings (which includes corporate and Highstreetvouchers.com only) continued to stabilise following the improvements seen since the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying billings were down 11.2% in the final quarter of the financial years compared to the same period last year.

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