The Pennies Foundation has launched Pennies, the electronic charity box onto the UK high street for the first time with children’s toy shop, The Entertainer.  This independent 57- store chain is the first retailer to introduce Pennies on shop tills.  Customers have the choice to make micro-donations by rounding-up their purchase to the nearest pound when they pay by card.  All the money raised goes to charity.

The Entertainer has launched Pennies in four stores (Liverpool, Bristol, Kingston and Sutton Coldfield), with the other 53 stores throughout England and Wales to follow throughout the summer.

To date Pennies has been available online with Domino’s Pizza and Travelodge, as well as in Zizzi restaurants.  So far 600,000 consumer donations have been received through Pennies, raising £140,000 for a total of 18 UK charities.   The majority of the individual donations have been 10p or less, demonstrating how pennies can add up.

Technology partners have played a key role in this launch, with YesPay International and Itim incorporating the “Pennies solution” into their overall payment software to enable easy adoption by retailers.

The majority of the money raised by The Entertainer will be shared equally between four children’s hospitals, Alder Hey Imagine Appeal, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal which fundraises for Bristol Children’s Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.  The remainder will be divided between ten other registered charities covering a range of causes including the elderly, cancer support and arts & education.

The Entertainer is the largest independent retailer of toys in the UK, with 30 years’ experience. Owners Gary and Catherine Grant’s experience in buying and selling toys since 1981 is key to the on-going growth of the company. The Entertainer is involved with many charities big and small and it’s stores are encouraged to get involved with their local community.

Commenting on The Entertainer’s partnership with Pennies, Gary Grant, Managing Director of The Entertainer, said: “Pennies fits well with our culture of giving and supporting those less advantaged than ourselves.  Our trial in four stores raised over £150 in its launch week, annualised, across all our stores, this could raise around £100,000! That’s just outstanding and we are grateful and amazed by the acceptance and generosity of our customers.”

Christine Done, Head of Fundraising at Imagine Appeal, Alder Hey Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be one of the charities benefiting from this fantastic partnership between the Entertainer stores and Pennies’. Often people want to give to a charity but can’t get round to making the donation and this makes it so easy. It is also the perfect way to make a difference to children in hospital”

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, added: “We’re excited at the pace of Pennies development. It is fantastic to launch our first in-store high street experience within the fun and friendly environment of The Entertainer’s toy shops. Card use is on the rise, last year, £26 billion** more was spent using debit cards than using notes and coins.  The death of cash is not around the corner, but we want to harness the growing power of the card, and Pennies makes that possible.   It lets consumers make a real difference, through giving a little to charity by card in the same way that we’ve traditionally dropped coins into a collecting tin.”


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