BENTONVILLE, Ark. – June 22, 2005 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced its new photo gift card service, a quick and easy new option that revolutionizes the look and use of traditional gift cards. The capability to place a personal photo, business card and phrases on the front of a gift card – plus the option to recharge the card at your local Wal-Mart – offers customers a new convenience and value. The new photo gift card machines are currently available in Charlotte, Cincinnati, El Paso and locally at the new south Rogers store at 4208 Pleasant Crossing Blvd and the Bentonville Neighborhood Market at 3510 S.E. 14th.
The new service is the first of its kind to give customers the option of individualizing the gift card. Perfect for birthdays, back-to-school supplies, or wedding and baby shower gifts, these cards transform a simple gift card into a keepsake.
“This is more than just a gift card,” said Ronnie Hoyt, Wal-Mart senior vice president/divisional merchandise manager. “Wal-Mart is the first retailer to bring consumers a card that can serve as a unique gift, an electronic allowance, or a savings plan. We believe these cards will replace traditional gift cards because customers now have the option of making them special and creating them to fit their specific needs.”
Creating a personalized gift card is as easy as one, two three. One - place your photo on the scanner or insert a photo CD or digital picture card. Two - select the image you want on your personalized gift card and hit “special.” Three – create your card! You can rotate the image, zoom in and out and also add wording to the card such as “Happy Birthday” or simply identify the use for that special card such as “Gas Card” or “School Supplies.”
There are several great alternatives for using the photo gift card in a non-traditional way, including:
• Allocating a budget: Put a picture of your teen’s car on a card so he/she can use the money for gas, oil changes or routine maintenance. You can design multiple cards, each for a different use, such as clothes allowance, food/snacks or personal items. It’s a great way to provide a budget or give college students a little extra to get them through the semester. And don’t forget you can add your own words, too!
• Save! Save! Save! Snap a picture of the plasma TV you’ve been dreaming of, put it on a card, add a little money each month and then use the card to bring home your new TV.
• Thank You Gifts: Take your child’s photo and put it on a gift card as a cute way to say ‘thanks’ for all his/her teacher’s hard work throughout the school year.
• Business Gifts: Put your business card on a gift card and use it as an incentive or a gift for purchasing something at your business.
• Wedding, Shower, Graduation, Birthdays – The Perfect Gift! Just think what a hit it’ll be to give a gift card with a photo of the engaged couple on it or a baby shower gift card with the Mom-and-Dad-to-be! And graduation and birthdays are made brighter with unique gift cards of happy times with family, friends or even the family pet! Your only limitation is your imagination and your photo library!
Customers can reload cards with the original receipt allowing Mom and Day to add more value at their local Wal-Mart for their son or daughter who’s away from home. For the everyday low price of $.88 (plus the monetary value you load on the card), customers simply bring their favorite photo or other image to a Wal-Mart store with photo gift card capabilities, place the photo into the machine to print, load the card with a designated amount of money and can walk away with a truly unique gift card.
“We’re starting a trend. By pioneering this service, we are once again evolving with our customers’ needs by providing a quick and affordable way to spice up the traditional gift card” said Hoyt.
The gift card machines are currently being piloted in stores in Cincinnati, OH; Charlotte, NC; and El Paso, TX; for $.88, with plans to roll out the cards nationally later this year. No images with copyright protection may be reproduced on a gift card.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAMS CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The companys securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
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