Mall’s gift certificates beat new law
SYDNEY — The Mayflower Mall has some advice for its Halifax counterparts when it comes to offering shoppers convenient gift ideas.
Three major shopping centres in Nova Scotia — Mic Mac Mall, Halifax Shopping Centre and Greenwood Mall — announced earlier this week that new provincial legislation banning expiry dates and extra fees on all gift cards, makes it impossible for them to continue offering mallwide gift cards. Such cards are issued by major banks, and those banks collect an inactivity fee of $2.50 per month if a card is not used within 15 months of purchase.
The three Halifax-area malls argue that in order to keep mall gift card funds secured and held by a bank, fees are required. They note that the vast majority of mall gift cards are redeemed within 15 months by consumers and no fees apply.
The malls have launched a website — www.bringbackourmallgiftcards.com — to encourage people to contact their local MLA and demand that the rules be revised.
But the Mayflower Mall hasn’t been impacted by the new legislation because almost 20 years ago the mall decided to implement a gift certificate program as opposed to a gift card program, ensuring no maintenance fees are charged to the consumer.
“Providing a multi-store gift certificate program without any fees to the purchaser and recipient just made sense for the shopping centre. We understood the value to the mall and our merchants of having such a program, as well as the benefits that it carries for our customers,” Mayflower Mall general manager Paul Carrigan said.
Carrigan noted that their store participation rate in the gift certificate program is over 90 per cent.
“ We will continue to offer the program as long as our customers continue to support it,” he added.