As the Shop LK promotion hits the 1 million euro mark, Letterkenny Chamber President John Watson has hailed the success of the initiative and said it reinforced the idea of local shopping, supporting local businesses and protecting local jobs.
The first ever voucher in the scheme was purchased by Ramelton woman, Kathleen Dunsworth, in 2006 - yesterday Elaine Callaghan from Letterkenny was unveiled as the one million euro buyer.
Commented the President at the official reception marking the milestone development: “It is a credit to those who came up with the idea who had the vision to see that it would be a huge success.
“We have nurtured and developed the Shop LK concept and consider it to be our flagship brand that is well recognised in Letterkenny and the surrounding area. This €1million has been spent right here in Letterkenny and it’s not just about the money. Each time a voucher is bought it reinforces the idea of local shopping, of supporting local businesses and protecting local jobs.
“This is one of the most successful initiatives of its kind, we led the way and we are now seeing the results,” Mr. Watson insisted.
“We also know that there is a multiplier effect as customers consistently spend more than the voucher value so we can assume at least double the value is spent in each transaction. So whether people got the vouchers as a gift, a bonus or just a treat they are showing their support for this local initiative.”
Town Mayor, Gerry McMonagle and fellow councillors along with business representatives joined in the tributes at yesterday’s function in the Chamber offices.
Shop LK is run by Letterkenny Chamber with all revenue being invested back into the brand through advertising and promotion. With sales increasing over the last two years by over 25% per year Shop LK has reached its first €1million sooner than expected - a point echoed by the speakers at the reception.
Letterkenny Chamber makes no money from the sale or redemption of vouchers so every cent brought in through Shop LK is invested back into the promotion of the brand throughout the year. This year with financial assistance from Letterkenny Town Council Shop LK will embark on a promotional campaign to really put Letterkenny on the map, officials revealed. “It is intended to get the message out to everyone in the North West and Northern Ireland that Letterkenny is the place to be for a wide variety of shops and choice all in one place all wrapped up in excellent service.”
Said Chamber Chief Executive. Toni Forrester: “Reaching the €1m milestone is great news for Letterkenny Chamber, great news for the 90 Shop LK members that contribute so much to the scheme and great news for Letterkenny. It’s been great to be able to celebrate today with the people who make it happen, those who came up with the idea in the first place and those who have supported Shop LK all along.
“We are also delighted to say that the person who bought the voucher that brought us to this grand total was young Letterkenny woman Elaine Callaghan who called in to the Chamber over Easter and is a regular customer. Elaine and everyone who has contributed to this fantastic achievement ensures that Shop LK will be around well in to the future and that the next million will not be long in coming round.”
At the celebration the Chamber President thanked all the participating outlets, all of those who have worked on Shop LK over the years and the Chamber community employment staff that carry out all the work associated with the vouchers day and daily. “It is these frontline staff in the Chamber that provide the resources throughout the year to make Shop LK such a success,” Mr. Watson pointed out.