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DES - Online Annual Report 2009

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The center voucher

For over 40 years, ECE has been successfully practising the concept of “experience shopping” in its shopping centers. Up to half a million visitors a day are fascinated by the variety of shops, the extraordinary product presentations and the unusual campaigns in Deutsche EuroShop’s attractively designed malls. The centers are always on the look-out for opportunities to offer visitors something special and to encourage them to keep coming back.

It was ten years ago that the idea was born to establish the center voucher as an appealing customer loyalty tool in more than 60 centers. The concept is as simple as it is successful: the customer purchases the voucher at a central point inside the center, gives it to someone as a gift and in so doing presents the recipient with every opportunity to make a long-held wish come true. After all, the voucher can be redeemed at any center store in the DES portfolio as well as at numerous other shopping centers managed by ECE, giving the recipient a choice of more than 9,000 points of sale that will accept the voucher – a unique advantage that no one else can offer. The voucher has long become rooted in the minds of our visitors as an “all-round, hassle-free gift” and is today regarded as one of the most popular gift vouchers in Germany.

Originally introduced in paper form, the center voucher now comes in a very modern and handy credit card format with a timelessly attractive design. And the distribution channels have also moved with the times: for a few years now, business customers wishing to treat their staff or business partners have been taking advantage of the extra portal set up just for them at www.ece-b2b.de, where larger voucher orders are processed quickly and easily.

And, since the end of 2009, private customers have also had the opportunity to design their own vouchers very simply and conveniently on the Internet at www.gutschein-verschenken.de, then send them by e-mail or SMS or even print them out and present them in person.

As a result of all these measures, the popularity and profile of the center vouchers have increased since they were first introduced and they are recording gratifying growth. Last year, around two million voucher cards were sold in all participating centers, meaning that contact was achieved with at least four million customers.

Experts are today forecasting that vouchers will become increasingly important as gifts over the next few years – not least because they offer the chance to make specific small or big wishes come true. It is therefore expected that the center voucher will continue to contribute to the success of centers run by Deutsche EuroShop as an appealing customer loyalty tool.

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