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News

B&Q hires new national account manager for corporate Gift Card

18/02/10

Having recently launched its exclusive corporate gift card range for the business to business arena, B&Q, the UK's leading home improvement and garden centre retailer, has appointed, Stuart Lawrence, as National Account Manager.

Stuart joins B&Q from a career as a consultant and working in the retail wireless telephony and data services industry.

Stuart Lawrence, National Account Manager for B&Q Gift Cards says: "As the new B&Q National Account Manager I am really looking forward to working with all our clients and working in the industry to develop new opportunities. B&Q is such as strong household brand and with the current trend of improve don't move I think B&Q's offer is one that companies can't afford not to have within their portfolio. I am very excited about building and developing this area of the business."

Arun Glendinning, General Manager, B&Q Gift Cards says: "This new role is further demonstration of our commitment to the business to business sector. B&Q has breadth of range, quality and value and means our gift card is a meaningful reward at the heart of the home. I'm delighted to welcome Stuart to the team to help demonstrate the benefits of B&Q's offer and to build our business in the corporate gift card sector."

B&Q launches it's decorating card into social housing sector

29/09/09

  • Increased Security, Greater Flexibility, Minimize Administration and Cost
  • Open Value – Up To £1,000
  • Improved Customer Purchasing Experience

Today sees the launch of B&Q's eagerly anticipated Decorating Card into the social housing sector. Since 2003 B&Q has offered its paper Decorating Voucher, giving social housing landlords a secure, convenient and flexible way of delivering decorating allowances to tenants. The Decorating Card takes this service to the next level.

"Our Decorating Card technology delivers greater security and increased flexibility," comments Paul Docherty National Account Manager for B&Q Business Services. "The new card holds no value until activated, which means that social housing landlords don't have to be concerned about the secure storage of vouchers. They simply hold a supply of the Cards and provide us with a spreadsheet by 3.00 p.m. one day and the Cards are activated with the required value the next. The Decorating Card is not pre-denominated, which means that landlords can add any value – no need to round-up the amount as is currently required with pre-denominated Vouchers, so budgets stretch further."

The Decorating Card provides increased security - if lost or stolen, B&Q Business Services can stop or cancel the card, and new technology delivers enhanced transactional reporting and reduces potential fraud.

Tenants benefit from the fact that all the funds on the Card do not have to be spent at once -any balance not used will simply remain on the Card, to be spent at a later date. Monetary change is not given when a Voucher is used, so the entire value has to be spent on one purchase. "The tenant will also enjoy a faster and more efficient transaction at the point of sale, all of which adds up to a faster, more pleasant purchasing experience," Paul continues. "The Card fits neatly in a purse or wallet, dispensing with the need to carry around denominations of Vouchers, and the list of qualifying products that a tenant may purchase are listed on the back of the Card."

"The launch of the Decorating Card comes in response to customer demand, and we have significant numbers of customers who will immediately swap from Vouchers," Paul concludes. "The Business Services team is committed to innovative product development, and is providing unique services to the social housing sector, such as the tenant skills training programme, available exclusively to B&Q's Decorating Voucher and Card customers."

Oakwood delivers with B&Q Gift Cards

14/09/2009

Oakwood Promotions is a leading provider of bespoke benefit packages for affinity- and member groups such as the Royal College of Nursing; Royal College of Midwives; National Childminding Association, and Connect – the union for professionals in communication. The business is led by Garry Nelson - a now-retired player for Charlton Athletic; ex-Senior Commercial Executive at the PFA; and tv sports pundit for ITV – who joined in Dec 2002 as MD. In his time at Oakwood, Nelson has driven the business forward to the point where it is today - "Our USP is most definitely our fully-transactional websites, tailored for each Group, giving members access to a comprehensive range of added-value benefits including great discounts on shopping; entertainment; leisure activities; holidays; and in the case of the RCN, branded leisure-wear," Nelson comments.

"We've worked for the Royal College of Nursing for the past two years and with RCN Membership Services now for nearly 13 years. In that time we have moved the benefits package from a costly paper-based scheme, with communication via conventional media such as directories and brochures, into a streamlined, completely electronic product. We design, run, and update the website through which these benefits can be accessed and bought, as well as negotiating with potential suppliers for enhanced member benefits. One of the most popular products purchased through the site is gift cards and vouchers. And of the 25 or so suppliers that feature, the B&Q Gift Card is already one of the most popular – since its launch three months ago."

RCN members receive fantastic discounts when choosing the B&Q Gift Card. It's not uncommon to see several thousand pounds worth purchased at any one time so on large purchases or projects such as a new kitchen the savings would , therefore, be significant. "From the voucher tracking analyses that we receive from B&Q Business Services, we can see exactly where and when the gift cards are spent which means that we can see exactly what value and benefit members are receiving."

In conclusion Nelson comments: "We're working to develop an even more extensive range of benefits for all our Groups' members – we want to get to the stage that whenever they're considering the purchase of any retail or travel product then they turn immediately to their respective website – run by Oakwood. It's got to be accessible, exciting and offer real tangible incentive and reward."

£1/2 million sales of new B&Q Gift Card in three weeks

07/05/2009

Sales of the new B&Q corporate Gift Card have hit £1/2 million within three weeks of launch. "This is a clear signal of the pent-up demand in the marketplace for a brand as strong as B&Q," comments Arun Glendinning, General Manager, B&Q Business Services.

P&MM is amongst several of the country's leading motivation agencies to have made the B&Q Gift Card an integral part of their reward portfolio, and early uptake indicates that it is an extremely popular option for HR incentive schemes. According to Paul McRae, Business Development at P&MM, ""B&Q is an important brand for us within the home improvement and garden centre market and, as such, the Gift Card launch is timely as B&Q is an extremely popular choice within the incentive and reward programmes that we manage. We have immediate client demand - it's an important brand to have on board." Also commenting, Tracy Aslam, Business Development Director of agency Jordan Media Ltd said: "We are delighted to have the B&Q Gift Card as part of our portfolio - we know from experience that B&Q is an extremely popular retail brand. The Business Services team has provided excellent account management support, to facilitate seamless integration of the offer into our programmes."

Arun concludes, "We are already seeing redemptions in store, which proves that recipients are extremely eager to spend their reward. It demonstrates that the B&Q Gift Card is an aspirational and desirable reward that can be enjoyed by the whole family."

The B&Q Gift Card is available in a range of denominations including £5, £10, £25 and £50 and incorporates leading-edge technology and security features, such as remote activation. The Card has been future-proofed to allow for online usage, and B&Q is already in the process of introducing technology into the marketplace that will allow for re-loading of value. Printed on bio-degradable materials, the Gift Card is one more example of how B&Q is striving to minimise its impact on the environment – the company is firmly committed to this goal and has partnered sustainability experts Bioregional and their global One Planet Living® initiative.

B&Q launches into corporate incentives and reward sector with exclusive solus Gift Card

03/04/2009

B&Q today launches its exclusive corporate Gift Card range for the incentives and reward arena.

Commenting Arun Glendinning, Business Services Manager, B&Q Gift Cards said, "We're bringing an extensive portfolio of support services to the arena, and launching with a product which we expect will grow the market. B&Q is an extremely strong brand, being the UK's leading home improvement and garden centre retailer with more than 331 stores. Motivation and reward is all about aspiration, desire and choice, and that's exactly what B&Q offers – more than 45,000 inspirational home improvement and garden products for the homemaker. We believe that a reward should engage and excite the recipient, proving a positive and constant reminder. What better way than to give both choice and access to products that will be used to permanently improve and embellish the home. Importantly the Gift Card also represents value, flexibility and security and, with our national coverage, easy accessibility to stores is guaranteed. We aim to ‘Reward Beyond Expectation'."

The B&Q Gift Card is available in a range of denominations including £5, £10, £25 and £50 and incorporates leading-edge technology and security features, such as remote activation. The Card has been future-proofed to allow for online usage, and B&Q is already in the process of introducing technology into the marketplace that will allow for re-loading of value. Printed on bio-degradable materials, the Gift Card is one more example of how B&Q is striving to minimise its impact on the environment – the company is firmly committed to this goal and has partnered sustainability experts Bioregional and their global One Planet Living® initiative.

Arun continues, "We believe there is significant demand in the incentives market for our Gift Card offer and will be retaining exclusivity of our brand in this area. Our Gift Card is perfect for every type of scheme from rewarding staff for achievement, improved performance, or reduced absenteeism; boosting sales direct to the consumer and via third party channels; through to encouraging product trial uptake. The potential applications are endless."

Newly created B&Q Business Services will provide dedicated support for corporate customers, including account management; creative solutions such as design and copywriting; fulfilment and distribution; unique redemption tracking reports and 24 hour delivery from receipt of order. Orders may be placed by email at business.services@b-and-q.co.uk or by fax 023 8027 9124.

The new corporate Gift Card offer will feature on www.diy.com/businessservices and the facility to transact online will follow.

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