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Mall owner guarantees gift cards

Associated Press / November 26, 2008
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ATLANTA - Mall operator Jones Lang LaSalle pledged yesterday to back retailer gift cards in order to reassure shoppers concerned about chain store bankruptcies.

The company, which operates 120 malls and shopping centers, said it will guarantee gift cards between Friday and Jan. 21 sold by national retailers that are its tenants, if they declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Cards that no longer hold value will be replaced with a mall gift card of equal value by Feb. 1, the company said. If they cannot verify the value of the card, Jones Lang LaSalle will offer a $20 mall card, unless the face value shows a lesser amount. Mall gift cards are issued by banks, rather than retailers, the company said.

Jones Lang LaSalle said it issued the pledge in response to an e-mail that is circulating, which claims gift card buyers may get stuck holding worthless cards if chains close their doors.

The company said it will also launch a website, www.get thefactsongiftcards.com, where it will post the rules behind its guarantee and list the malls and shopping centers covered.

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