Unless you’re in a global pandemic! 

I don’t want this post to be focused purely on Covid, but we would be reminiscent to not talk about how it has affected our plans to push hard in the new year. Ultimately, we are keen to expand further across Leeds, as well as into new areas of Yorkshire and beyond and welcome fantastic new indies to join our community. However, we are acutely aware of the challenges that face our members and future members; and we want to make sure that we are promoting OPEN in a respectful and sensitive manner.


What we do have is the opportunity to improve the platform and this comes in the form of the following:

Digital experience – although 70% of consumers prefer to receive a physical gift card over a digital version, we’re well aware that in 2021 we need to create an alternative that can be stored on your mobile devices. This means that we’re developing a tool where you can buy/load a gift card online and you will have a digital version saved for use in our registered businesses.

It also means that you can save your existing card securely online, if you ever lose your physical card. Estimated launch date: Spring 2021

Redeem OPEN online – the beauty of being a small business is that you can create a website easily and start selling your product immediately. Whether its Shopify, Wix, GoDaddy, SquareSpace, WordPress etc, you have access to amazing tools to get you started. Unfortunately for us, it does create a challenge, as it means we need to create something that is extremely secure and that can simply ‘plug in’ to all of these eCommence platforms (sorry to Greg our Technical Director).

There are already plans drawn up to deliver these plugins, however we are looking at a much-simplified version first and then we will develop the fully integrated version in the background. Estimated launch date: phase 1 – Feb 2021 / phase 2 – July 2021.

Corporate orders – we have been working on our platform to make sure we can process multi-card orders as efficiently as possible. If a corporation wants to order 500 cards, then we’re now able to process this immediately. It’s important for us as this is the area of our business where we will be able to generate the highest level of new revenue on to OPEN gift cards.

We have been really pleased with the level of interest from larger organisations that are looking to use OPEN as an alternative to their usual big brand gift cards, for staff rewards and incentives. This really does show that there is a change in how businesses are investing their money into more to socially responsible initiatives. May it continue and may OPEN be the vehicle to direct money away from huge retailers and back into small local business.

If you have any questions at all, please contact us at

Thanks as always,