Mall’s gift cer­tifi­cates beat new law

Cape Breton Post - - COMMENT -

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.

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