Simon Property Group, Inc. announced an extended launch of its new Simon Visa Gift Card, one of the nation’s first instant issue, non-personalized gift cards.
Building off of a successful year-long pilot program at four Simon malls, Simon is extending the launch of the Simon Visa Gift Card to 43 additional Simon malls with a complete rollout scheduled to all remaining Simon malls in 2003. During the 12-month pilot program, Simon experienced a sales increase of over 60 percent compared to regular gift certificate sales during the prior 12 months.
Simon chose Visa to develop the Simon Gift Card as part of its commitment to provide shoppers with new innovative products and offerings that further enhance the shopping experience. Shoppers can use the Simon Visa Gift Card, a prepaid card, anywhere Visa is accepted, like the many stores and restaurants within Simon malls nationwide. The cards provide the same options offered by Simon Gift Certificates, but in an easily accessible plastic form that travels on the Visa network and is used with the ease of a check card.
“Simon has a rich legacy of pioneering new products and concepts within the mall environment. The Simon Visa Gift Card is yet another example of the types of innovative products we offer our shoppers,” said Michele Sullender, vice president, product development at Simon Brand Ventures, the strategic marketing division of Simon. “The successful Simon Visa Gift Card pilot program provided us with key insights we are now incorporating into this extended launch.”
Simon is further leveraging the Simon Visa Gift Card through additional marketing efforts such as Visa’s gift with purchase promotion, “Let Me Send you to Hawaii, Mexico or London. My Treat!” Between October 1-31, shoppers at 47 Simon malls will have the chance to use their Visa card to purchase $250 worth of Simon Visa Gift Cards and be eligible to receive two free roundtrip airline tickets to Hawaii, Mexico or London.
“Our longstanding relationship with Simon has provided us with the opportunity to develop and test new products for Simon shoppers, like the Simon Visa Gift Card,” said Todd Brockman, vice president of prepaid products at Visa U.S.A., Inc. “Through the Simon Visa Gift Card, we will continue to give cardholders greater choice by offering more and better ways to pay.
Compared to gifts of checks, cash or merchandise, the Visa Gift Card offers significant benefits as all of Visa’s consumer security protection policies apply, including its Zero Liability policy wherein the funds on the card are protected if the card becomes lost or stolen. Unlike gift certificates or single-merchant gift cards, the Visa-branded gift cards are universally accepted at all Simon Mall merchants nationwide.
The alliance between Simon and Visa was formed in 1997 in an effort to drive purchasing and brand loyalty among the 100 million shoppers who make more than 2 billion visits to Simon malls each year. As part of this alliance, Simon and Visa have joined forces to bring value-added experiences, such as the “Your Dream, Your Team” sweepstakes, “500 Miles of Daytona” live event and “Visa. It’s Everywhere NFL Fans Want To Be” promotion to Simon shoppers across the country.
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $915 billion in annual transaction volume – including roughly half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry 376 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, prepaid and check cards, accepted at approximately 25 million locations worldwide. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand, payment technology and security standards are helping to create universal commerce – the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere, any way. For more information about Visa, please visit .
Founded in 1997, Simon Brand Ventures has pioneered the transformation of shopping malls into a medium where consumer brands can build one-to-one relationships with the more than 100 million shoppers who make more than 2 billion visits to Simon malls each year. Recognized by PaineWebber as the “Gateway to the Consumer,” Simon Brand Ventures has entered into strategic partnerships with more than 100 consumer product companies and sponsors within the last year, including Cingular Wireless, Frito-Lay, Pepsi Cola Company and Visa U.S.A., to stage memorable brand experiences in Simon malls through a variety of media platforms.
Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG), headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership and management of income-producing properties, primarily regional malls and community shopping centers. Through its subsidiary partnerships, it currently owns or has an interest in 249 properties containing an aggregate of 186 million square feet of gross leasable area in 36 states, as well as eight assets in Europe and Canada. Additional Simon Property Group information is available at .