Retail

Woolworths will scrap gift card expiry dates from March 31

Caleb Triscari /

Woolworths has told customers it will be putting an end to gift card expiry dates, deciding to “go one better” than its commitment last year to extend all cards to a three-year expiry window.

Woolworths gift cards purchased after March 31 will have no expiry date attached to them, the company confirmed this morning. All gift cards that were purchased after March 31, 2017, will also have their expiry dates cleared.

In a statement, Woolworths head of financial services and insurance Chris Cramond said the decision comes after speaking with customers.

“We know our gift cards make incredibly popular presents for family and friends and understand how disappointing it can be if they expire before customers get a chance to use them,” Cramond said.

“[Removing the expiry date] means one less thing to worry about for our busy customers, who will have complete flexibility to use gift cards as and when it suits them.”

New South Wales will soon require retailers to honour gift card for at least three years from the date of purchase. The legislation comes into effect on March 31.

The policy was revealed by the NSW government in October last year. At the time of the announcement, NSW Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean said the one-year standard on gift card expiry dates is a loss for consumers.

Last year, Woolworths committed to extended cards to a three-year expiry window from the time the New South Wales laws came in, but would extend this to cards right across Australia. However, the company said after consultation with customers, it made more sense to remove the time limits completely.

In a statement the supermarket operator told customers that in order to save on production and avoid wasting plastic, some gift cards stock will have a 12-month expiry date printed on the back of them. These dates should be disregarded, Woolworths says.

According to AAP, an estimated $2.5 billion is spent on gift cards each year in Australia.

NOW READ: Retailers association hits out at “significant cost” of transition to three-year gift card expiry in NSW

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Caleb Triscari

Caleb Triscari is a former SmartCompany sub-editor.

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