Holiday Shoppers Get a Boost From Retailer Rebate Offers

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Top Name Retailers Aim to Attract Consumers with Rebates into their Investment Accounts

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, several retailers have hedged their bets to insure their success this year by offering a new form of incentive to bargain-hungry consumers. As opposed to the traditional discount or mail-in rebate, a growing number of retailers are appealing to a motivation stronger than simply frugality -- the need for consumers to secure their financial future. More specifically, retailers have begun offering shoppers a kick-back in the form of deposits into their college savings or retirement accounts through a practice called "microinvesting." According to a recent report by Financial Research Corporation, microinvesting programs have the potential to capture more than $21.7 billion annually in eligible shopping transactions, representing an incremental $1.1 billion per year in assets to individual investors.

Vesdia Corporation, which owns or manages more than a dozen of the most popular microinvesting programs in the U.S. and Canada, launched its first program more than four years ago, but has seen retailer interest in its program peak during the past few months. "We've been extremely pleased with the brand names that have come onboard in the months leading up to this holiday shopping season," says Peter Davis, Vesdia's President and CEO. "We currently have hundreds of online, gift certificate, catalog and brick-and- mortar merchants participating in our programs, but we've been especially pleased with the continued growth in the number of our multi-channel merchants -- those that offer rebates both online and in-store, or via catalog. Based on the number of retailers we are currently in discussions with, I fully expect the number of participating multi-channel merchants to double by this time next year."

Among Vesdia's newest merchants is perennial holiday favorite Hickory Farms, which operates more than 700 brick-and-mortar and kiosk locations during the months of November and December. "For over 50 years, shoppers have trusted Hickory Farms to deliver their most important gifts. So, helping families across the country save towards their financial goals by providing rebates to members of Vesdia's BabyMint college savings program and NestEggz retirement savings program is simply our way of saying 'thanks' for your trust in our company and its products," said Andrea L. Mcgann, Director of Retail Marketing for Hickory Farms. "Any retailer can provide a discount; we believe that going the extra mile and helping people achieve their dreams -- even if only in a small way -- helps to differentiate us as an organization with higher ideals," continued Mcgann.

The Hickory Farms philosophy of providing a more meaningful incentive to shoppers is a sentiment that is seemingly shared by more than 500 other top name retailers in the Vesdia network. While the rebate incentives will surely help participating retailers have a happy holiday, consumers have equal reason to celebrate the season given the trend towards rebate incentives. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), total holiday spending is projected to be $219.9 billion this year. If that spending were to occur at retailers participating in microinvesting programs, with an average rebate of just 5%, it would translate into nearly $11 billion in investable assets for holiday shoppers. "Microinvesting programs are truly a win-win for both participating retailers and consumers -- retailers end up increasing customer loyalty and decreasing their promotional expense when compared to more traditional marketing methods, while consumers end up investing assets that otherwise may have never been set aside," elaborated Vesdia's Davis. "The tragedy is that many consumers don't realize these rebates are available to them; they don't realize they are leaving money on the table by not participating."

About Vesdia Corporation

Vesdia is widely recognized as the global leader in the field of microinvesting technology. Through its network of top-name retailers and name brands, Vesdia's patent-protected technology enables consumers to earn rebates and similar rewards through their everyday spending. In addition to serving as the "rewards engine" behind its own award-winning coalition loyalty programs, BabyMint and Stockback, the company's proprietary technology is also licensed by more than a dozen financial institutions, retailers, and credit card issuers in the U.S. and Canada to facilitate customer loyalty. Vesdia Corporation is a privately held company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information please visit http://www.Vesdia.com.

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William Koleszar