Performance Bicycle® (www.performancebike.com), the nation’s largest specialty bicycle retailer, has become the first business in the world to use Ecko Cards, an environmentally sustainable alternative to the petroleum-based card products typically used by merchandisers for gift cards.
The cards were brought to market by xpedx, the largest U.S. distributor of printing papers, in tandem with PBM Graphics, the world’s largest paper card producer. The Performance Bicycle Ecko Cards are produced with green manufacturing processes and made of a high-quality, innovative paper stock. The Ecko Card is FSC-certified, 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable, but still presents the smooth and rigid characteristics and scanning functionality of petroleum-based cards.
“As a company dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle, we are thrilled to be the first company in the world to extend this value across more channels of our business by offering customers the convenience of gift cards without the guilt of their environmental impact,” said Jim Thompson, chief executive officer, Performance Bicycle. “With so many used gift cards discarded and never reused each year, this innovative material presents an exciting opportunity to Performance and other businesses to make a positive impact on the environment through our customers and their purchasing habits.”
Xpedx worked with PBM Graphics and Performance Bicycle to bring the Ecko Cards to market, testing with Performance and several other leading retailers to ensure the cards held the same functionality as their plastic counterparts.
“This product was in development and testing for more than 18 months. From the beginning, we were confident it had tremendous commercial application – and that there would be high demand for a sustainably produced alternative to petroleum-based gift cards,” said Marc Bevilacqua, director of Packaging Solutions, xpedx Raleigh.
An important process of the Ecko Card’s development was to capture the premium look and feel consumers have come to expect from gift cards, which is enhanced by characteristics such as graphic expression, rigidity, snap, and smoothness. The process called for a highly-specialized printer to convert and bring the paper material to life.
“As a long-standing partner of Performance Bicycle, we are excited to have contributed to the process of bringing Ecko Cards to consumers nationwide,” said Mike Warner, account executive, PBM Graphics. “Our company has always been committed to taking responsible actions to ensure that we continue to minimize our impact on the environment, and Ecko Cards are an innovative solution that we look forward to seeing other retailers apply in their business practices.”
Where to Find Performance Bicycle
Performance offers three great ways to shop: in store, by catalog and online at PerformanceBike.com. Guests can always check the Deal of the Day on the Performance Bicycle® website or by following performance_inc on Twitter and /performancebike on Facebook.