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When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention An Essex Wedding when making any enquiries.

Hatfield Place
Marks Hall Estate
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Gilwell Park

Gift cards UK's most popular gift during lockdown

Gift cards UK's most popular gift during lockdown: Image 1 New research from the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA) reveals that gift cards were the most popular gift purchased during lockdown, and with healthy and safety measures in place for a little longer yet, and the wedding scene not quite back to what it was before, the gift card could still be the best go-to option for wedding gifting yet!

With many shops having to close during lockdown it's no surprise that gift buys had to get creative and resulted to online purchases or the buying of giftcards. The research into 2,000 UK shoppers, carried out in partnership with GlobalData, found that, during lockdown, 14% bought a gift card for somebody else. Admirably, consumers were incredibly conscientious with more than one in five (21%) of consumers purchasing gift cards to support their favourite businesses during a difficult period, highlighting a growing trend among consumers to spend with brands that have prioritised customer service and loyalty.

Now that lockdown has eased, and we're being encouraged to return to the highstreet and boost the economy, major retailers, hospitality brands and beloved local businesses, are expected to see an increase in footfall and spend over the coming weeks now that restrictions have been lifted and the Britsh love of shopping can finally return.

Gift cards UK's most popular gift during lockdown: Image 2 With many people looking to spend their giftcards, recent GCVA research reveals that shoppers typically spend an additional £18.55 more than their gift card value with retail and multi-store gift cards the most popular. These make for the ideal wedding gift, where couples may have requests on their gift list from multiple stores, spanning, beauty, homewares and honeymoon purchases, a mutli-store gift card means newlyweds can shop till their heart's content – and they also won't need to return anything either!

Experience gift cards, which can be spent on activities such as weekends away, or at local bars and restaurants, were purchased by 16% of consumers, with a further 10% having purchased leisure gift cards, reflecting continued public uncertainty around when, or if, businesses throughout the sector will be able to reopen.

Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA, commented: "The pandemic has also given rise to a new, extremely interesting gifting trend, known as "sunny day gifting", referring to when a gift card is purchased with the intention of being used at a later date once everyday life has returned to normal. As shops continue to reopen their doors and the leisure sector gears up for reactivation, we anticipate a major surge in footfall as customers flock to spend the gift cards they have bought or received in lockdown, offering a much-needed shot in the arm for the sector that could benefit businesses for months to come." 

For more information, visit www.gcva.co.uk

 
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Celebrity interviews!

We have a great line up of experts to give you first hand advice and discussions about bridal fashion, hair, makeup, to name but a few!

Take a look at our Celebrity Interviews!