'Busy' first day for electronic gift cards

<p>National Book Tokens new electronic gift card launched yesterday and had a &quot;busy&quot; first day with over 850 individual transactions.<br /><br />After years of development the first recorded transaction was at Foyles St Pancras at 8.06 am with the last sale of the day made at 5.12pm in the RazmaReads Children&#39;s Bookshop in Greater Manchester. The soft launch will last for the first couple of weeks, while the team iron out any glitches.<br /><br />Alex de Berry, commercial director of National Book Tokens, said: &quot;Throughout the day the Book Tokens helpline and customer service team was busy dealing with last minute calls from independent booksellers, and whilst there is a great deal still to do to get the system up to full speed, the long awaited National Book Tokens launch day ended without major incident.&quot;<br /><br />De Berry added that over the next couple of weeks Book Tokens would be &quot;working hard to iron out any last minute issues&quot;. In mid-February the consumer marketing will kick in with national press and online advertising.<br /><br />But the move has previously been met with some criticism from independent booksellers. Derrick Meakins, proprietor of Baytree Bookshop, said: &quot;I feel, like I am sure all independents booksellers do, the decision to change to a credit card type operation is a retrograde step, and is certainly not welcomed by independent bookshop owners.&quot;</p>