Haigs is a family run butcher in Aberdeen city centre, and is one of the most popular places for people to redeem their Aberdeen Gift Card. Julie Haig said:
“Haigs has been here in the heart of the city centre for 11 years now and we joined the Aberdeen Gift Card when it launched in 2020 because it’s such a great idea. When we opened Haigs, the first thing we wanted to do was tackle the misconception that butchers are expensive and improve the experience for customers. It can be intimidating for people to visit a butcher’s counter, largely because they’re not sure what things will cost. We removed the counters and pre-packed our butcher products so that people know exactly how much a product will be.
“There’s a big community ethos at Haigs, and we know most of our customers by name. If there is food left over at the end of the week, it goes to the food banks in Aberdeen, so we have no waste at all. The demand for food banks in Aberdeen is higher than ever. When we heard that Aberdeen City Council was planning to distribute the Aberdeen Gift Card to 14,000 low income families in Aberdeen, we thought it was a fantastic idea.
“We know that people are genuinely struggling financially right now. To help, we’ve been using promotions on our butcher products, such as 24 sausages for £6 and our huge 3 for £12 range. Our mission is making it affordable for families to shop with us but still giving them access to high quality meats. I think this approach is why we’ve had so many Aberdeen Gift Cards spent with us.
“I think the best thing about Aberdeen City Council using the card for low income families is that it’s encouraging people through the door of local businesses. There have been lots of new faces into Haigs using their Aberdeen Gift Card. I’d say it’s about a 50/50 split of new and regular customers and they have been so chuffed to have the card.
“People have been filling the freezer and making the most of our promotions. One customer spent their £120 gift card with us across three transactions, and probably had enough meat to keep the family going for over 3 months.
“Once customers have been in, they know where the till is, they’re familiar with the staff and they have the chance to try our products and enjoy them. The gift card has given them a push to try us out, and they are really surprised at the value and quality on offer. We’ve invested in making our shop front appealing, but that can scare people into thinking we’re expensive. In business, word of mouth is everything and is far superior to any advert you can buy.
“Being a part of the Aberdeen Gift Card, and the disbursal of the gift card from Aberdeen City Council has been absolutely brilliant for our business. It has brought us new customers, and it has helped people. Families may be on low incomes but they still want to give their family good quality food. The gift card has done what it set out to do; put money into the hands of those that need it most, and encourage them to shop local and discover new local businesses.”