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All about Milano Restaurants, Giftcard & Voucher Week, Skuuudle, ekmPowershop

Republic of Ireland based Milano Restaurants, part of the market leading Gondola Group, has moved into the corporate incentives arena.  Its gift vouchers are already very popular with consumers who purchase to give as gifts.

This month sees the launch of a dedicated business arm, and the introduction of one of the few plastic gift card offerings in the Irish business to business sector.

Commenting Richard Mills, Product Manager Retail and B2B said: “Newly established Milano for Business has been created specifically to fulfil growing demand for our product from the corporate sector.  Our gift cards are ideal for businesses to use for sales incentives; to give to customers and staff to recognise their loyalty; for flexible/voluntary benefits; long service awards and Christmas rewards.

With a market of some 4.5 million people we are confident that the brand will be in demand from companies across the Republic, which recognise the importance of motivation and reward.  We have already signed agreements to supply Milano Restaurants, a leading employee recognition company; and Lyoness, the consumer loyalty cashback card.  Our gift cards provide everything that a business needs to create an exciting, effective and compelling reward. People love Milano – it’s all about the food, the passion, the service and creating an unforgettable reward ‘experience’.”

Milano gift cards can be loaded with any value from €1 to €500, and corporate discounts are available to businesses which purchase over €1000.  Gift vouchers are also available in denominations of €10 and €20,   Purchase either via phone from 01 864 2534, online at or in any of the 14 Milano restaurants across the Republic.


Giftcard & Voucher Week, returning for its second year from 9th to 16th November, has huge nationwide support. As well as daily activity with the media partner for the week, the Express Group, which includes the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, OK! and New magazine, there is also set to be editorial coverage across a range of channels including promotions in lifestyle magazines such as Real People, Chat and Candis, websites, 50 regional newspaper competitions and 100 radio competitions.

Andrew Johnson, director-general of the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA), will also be carrying out radio interviews broadcast nationwide based on a national survey on the shopping habits of men and women, which is in the field now.  Results from the survey will also generate significant national and regional editorial coverage.

Giftcard & Voucher Week is supported by many sponsors including Halfords, H.Samuel, Love2shop, National Garden Gift Vouchers, and Wickes.

The campaign will take place in one of the busiest weeks of the year for retailers; as part of a drive to promote gift cards and vouchers to consumers in the run up to Christmas.

The second week in November has been chosen as it is traditionally a time when shoppers start to flock to the high street to begin their Christmas shopping.

The UKGCVA, the trade body representing the key players in the £4.7 billion gift card and voucher market, is predicting a bumper Christmas with an estimated £2 billion expected to be spent on gift cards and vouchers over the next ten weeks.

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Online retail is a fast moving industry, where the price of products move even quicker. This week, ecommerce giant ekmPowershop teamed up with market intelligence specialist Skuuudle, delivering price checking technology to 1 in 5 online shops in the UK.

Skuuudle checks product prices on specific competitors as well as thousands of websites, marketplaces and shopping directories on a daily basis. Providing intelligence to many of the world’s largest retail chains – they’ve recently built a solution for SMEs and ecommerce websites using ekmPowershop’s hugely popular ecommerce platform.

Steven Hickey from ekmPowershop says: “For small web based businesses, keeping track of what’s happening in their market and remaining competitive on price has always been a manual, and fairly ineffective process. Skuuudle puts the power of automated price checking in the hands of the trader. It’s a huge partnership, as we’re offering cutting edge market intelligence to a brand new audience – this kind of stuff has always been exclusive to big businesses. Together we’ve come up with something that thousands or even millions of businesses can use all over the word – and it’s affordable.”

Andrew Senior Founder of Skuuudle adds: “What the technology does is cut huge costs out of running an online business. Essentially, we collect online data so our customers know their competition. We gather all the products and prices from other online companies so our customers can check the prices of their competitors, and what product ranges they stock, before they price their products themselves. This enables them to define their own pricing and ranging strategies”

ekmPowershop’s global reach, with local versions in Spain, France, Germany and further afield in emerging markets like Latin America means Skuuudle will also be available globally, as they’ve developed their own global growth strategy. Andrew Senior from Skuuudle goes on: “We started in the UK, and have now have a number of clients in the USA , France, and Germany, which has all happened without doing any marketing,” he said. “Our aim is to become the global leader in competitive intelligence and price automation – the investment we’ve made with ekmPowershop sets us on the road to achieve this.”

Skuuudle is available to tens of thousands of ekmPowershop users now.


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