How many of you have Topshop or Miss Selfridge gift cards or vouchers? Read on as we explore what is the future for High Street gift cards…
The Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burtons, and Dorothy Perkins amongst other well know High Street brands, is in crisis talks about its future. It’s just the latest retail group to run into trouble, and many are predicting it will collapse into administration.
Gift cards and vouchers are still popular, especially for presents with a gift card being an easy option for the elderly relative, particularly around Christmas and birthdays. Last year, sales of gift cards and vouchers amounted to more than £6billion in the UK.
A large proportion of that is effectively lost though, as cards get lost, they expire, or a balance is left on them that can’t be spent.
What is most worrying, though, is when the business goes into administration. In recent years, other high street retail failures have included HMV, House of Fraser, Maplin, Toys R Us and Evans Cycles, all of which were popular with the gift card market.
When a business does go into administration, these gift cards become effectively worthless, as the business can legally stop accepting gift cards. So the message is clear – use your Topshop or other Arcadia group gift card now, or risk losing its value completely.
If you have bought something already but want to exchange it or ask for a refund, it’s the same message – act quickly. It would be sensible to not accept a credit note but ask for a replacement item instead.
So whilst gift cards have never represented that good value for money, with the High Street in crisis, it makes sense to cash them in quickly rather than run the risk of losing them completely. The future for High Street gift cards looks bleak…