We have gift certificates. We are happy to sell gift certificates. Any denomination you’d like, we can do it. They are a double-edged sword, though. People purchase them before Christmas, sometimes, and they are putting cash-flow into the local business. Cash-flow helps keep the economic wheel moving and we greatly appreciate it. That’s the upside.
The other side of the gift certificate is that in January and February when the cash-flow has slowed to molasses pace, people still deserve to use their gift certificates. It can be very hard on the business owner to buy the stock to fill the orders when the current-day cash-flow is low. It seems like a simple solution: Don’t spend gift certificate money until gift-certificate purchases are made. Easier said than done. It’s not as though there is a pool of money we draw on and replenish these days. It has been nine months of loss. The hole is getting deeper for many businesses.
If you must purchase gift certificates, as a convenient gift, please, please please don’t buy one for a chain business. They literally do not need your money. They’re fine. Your local economy depends on your local purchases.
For our customer’s confidence we’ll be establishing a separate fund to account for ‘gift-certificate money’ this season. This will provide insurance to customers that if someone receives gift certificate, we will have a cash-out option in the event we need to close temporarily or completely. That’s a reality we must responsibly face and we wanted you to be comfortable that if you purchase a gift card, it will be honoured.