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OTTAWA, Ontario -- Since specialty retailer Farm Boy, Inc., based here, retained Relizon last autumn to develop and implement a gift card marketing program to encourage customer acquisition and drive revenues, the business results have been impressive, the retailer revealed yesterday. For example, during the 2004 holiday season, Farm Boy reported a 28 percent rise in gift card sales over last year's holiday returns.
Before partnering with Relizon, Farm Boy ran an in-house gift certificate program based on the traditional paper format. Since the gift certificates were kept in a vault at each store, when a customer asked a cashier for a gift certificate, the cashier would have to ask a manager to go upstairs and get one. This caused delays at checkout, which negatively affected the customer experience.
Having developed gift card programs for some of Canada's largest retailers, including the Hudson's Bay Co., Dayton, Ohio-based Relizon, which has Canadian headquarters in Boucherville, Quebec, is now helping smaller retailers like Farm Boy benefit from strategically designed gift card programs.
"We chose Relizon for their proven expertise in developing successful gift card marketing programs that generate measurable business results," said Farm boy president Donny Milito in a statement. "Farm Boy is committed to providing the freshest products at the best possible prices, and giving our customers extra attention to service and quality. Working with Relizon to develop gift cards that make shopping at Farm Boy easier and more convenient is perfectly aligned with our mission."
"The popular perception is that gift cards are only for large companies, and this is simply not the case," added Doug Bowker, v.p. of marketing for Relizon Canada. "Retailers of every size want to form stronger bonds with customers by being more responsive to their unique needs. Gift cards enable retailers to give customers more choice and freedom in how they shop, in a form that can be trusted."
"We are excited to work with Farm Boy and help it nurture closer and more loyal relationships with its customers," said Relizon consultant Shannon Hall. "Relizon's process improvement solutions in marketing, document management, and billing are designed to meet our clients' business objectives in driving revenue, reducing costs, and managing cash flow. The gift card program for Farm Boy will support the company's brand management and enhance customer acquisition and retention."
With seven locations throughout eastern Ontario, Farm Boy specializes in quality produce, meat, bakery, and deli products. Additionally, Farm Boy produces its own line of high-quality, value-priced private label products and employs sophisticated transportation methods to ensure the freshness and quality of its offering, according to the company.