Melbourne Central launching gift recycling pop-up for Christmas

Melbourne shoppers left with unwanted gifts will soon have an option to return items purchased at any retailer to Melbourne Central in exchange for a shopping centre gift card.

Starting Friday, December 13, Melbourne Central will launch ‘The Returning’ – a one-stop shop to return impulse buys or misjudged presents – that will run until December 27.

The items can be exchanged for a gift card worth up to the item’s value, or can be swapped for something else that has been handed in to the store.

All products left over will be donated to the Property Industry Foundation, in support of Melbourne City Mission, offering a range of support mechanisms to assist homeless and at-risk young people.

“We’ve recently discovered that the appeal of a pop-up store to return or swap gifts is strong: 84 per cent of Australians would be extremely likely to visit,” Melbourne Central centre manager Ryan Ling said. 

“Not only would the store bring our shopping festivities to life, but it will deliver a fun and simple solution to the inevitable pain points around Christmas time – receiving unwanted gifts.”

According to Melbourne Central, almost half of the Australian population keep unwanted gifts in a cupboard, while 33 per cent use the product regardless of if they want it or not.

Ling said the pop-up store would elevate the shopping centre’s drive to provide the most fun and original shopping experience this Christmas, while creating a more sustainable way to shop. 

Melbourne City Mission senior manager Molly O’Shaughnessy said the mission is incredibly thrilled and grateful to both Property Industry Foundation and Melbourne Central. 

“These gifts will have a huge impact on young people who are homeless this Christmas,” O’Shaughnessy said. 

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