The retail group of Jones Lang LaSalle has launched a positive campaign to defend national retailers and reassure shoppers regarding gift cards purchased and given this holiday season.
In its Gift Card Promise program, Jones Lang LaSalle pledges to honor gift cards issued by national retail stores within Jones Lang LaSalle malls through February 1, 2009.
This move comes in response to a viral e-mail campaign that went out earlier this month warning that approximately 30 retailers would close and that their gift cards would not be honored. Many retailers included in the e-mail have responded aggressively with statements that their gift cards will remain valid in stores and online.
“There were so many things wrong with the e-mail, we felt we had to take a stand,” said Greg Maloney, president and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. “This type of unreliable information contributes to the current anxiety customers are feeling about the economy and the holiday season. Jones Lang LaSalle is not going to stand by and let this type of inaccurate information scare shoppers away — we are putting our money where our mouth is and will guarantee gift cards in the event a national retailer at a Jones Lang LaSalle mall closes its door.
“We want shoppers to know they can count on Jones Lang LaSalle to do the right thing,” Maloney said, “and we encourage all mall owners to follow our lead and also guarantee gift cards at their malls.”
Another option the firm encourages is to buy mall gift cards, which are issued by a bank and are valid at any retailer that accepts major credit cards. Should a national retailer in a Jones Lang LaSalle mall deny a gift card due to Chapter 7 liquidation filed between November 28, 2008, and January 31, 2009, and the holder has exhausted all of the options to redeem it, Jones Lang LaSalle will replace it with a mall gift card of equal value. If the retailer gift card value cannot be verified by the retailer, Jones Lang LaSalle will offer the consumer a $20 mall gift card (unless face value indicates card is for a lesser amount).
In addition to the Gift Card Promise program, Jones Lang LaSalle’s campaign includes a viral push in its national database, on Facebook, YouTube and a national public relations effort. A Website has been created for consumers to get more information at www.getthefactsongiftcards.com.
“Consumer confidence is critical to the success of both retailers and shopping center owners this holiday season, and we feel setting the record straight is our duty,” Maloney said.
All of Jones Lang LaSalle’s 120 leased and managed malls will participate in the gift card guarantee program.