A small gift shop in Singapore has become the latest to give away £20,000 worth of gifts in a similar scheme to one launched in Hong Kong.
The Singapore-based Gift Shop Singapore (SGST) started the new scheme in August to help families in Singapore earn a living through gift giving.
The scheme, which started on 1 August, has raised almost HK$5.5 million ($7.2 million) so far.
The aim is to encourage families to give back to their communities and to spread the good word about Singapore and its rich culture.
The first 500 customers can receive one-off gifts, but a higher tier of 50,000 gift certificates can be purchased.
The gift shop’s chief executive, Tien Lai Chai, said the scheme would be a way for Singaporeans to get involved in local culture and get the chance to exchange gifts for cash.SGST has also started a new section on its website for families to help with logistics, which is designed to encourage them to help in the running of the shop and for the store to be more accessible to people who may not otherwise be able to afford a store.
Its co-founder, Jee Fung Tung, said families should not worry if they don’t have the money to buy gifts because they can still use the store’s online gift shop to purchase gift certificates.
“You can go into the shop to get a gift certificate, then go online and you can give a gift,” he said.
“So you can still do a gift giving, but it’s a little bit less of a hassle and a little more accessible.”
He added that the scheme was not aimed at the wealthy but was aimed at families with modest incomes.
“It’s about getting them to have a little gift for their children,” he added.SGSP has been offering gift certificates at a discount of HK$1,200 ($1,800) for the first 100 people who sign up.
The scheme, however, will be phased out over the next three years.
“If we get 50,001 people, then we will phase it out,” he explained.
“That’s when we will stop selling the certificate for 50,00.”
While the SGST is the first scheme in Singapore to use digital gift certificates, other businesses in the city have been offering similar discounts.
The city’s first gift shop opened last October and has been selling gift certificates since then.
The shop has since expanded to provide other services to families, including a gift shop for adults.