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Holiday Shoppers Predicted to Spend More on Gift Cards

As the holiday season quickly approaches, many consumers will be searching for gifts for family and friends. While they may have specific products on their shopping list, many will be giving the gift of shopping by providing a gift card.

According to NRF’s Gift Card Spending Survey, the average person buying gift cards will spend $172.74, up from $163.16 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $31.74 billion. In an October NRF survey, 62 percent of shoppers said they would like to receive a gift card, making gift cards the most requested gift item eight years in a row.

“No longer impersonal or only about convenience, gift cards have become the perfect, practical gift item for millions of holiday shoppers,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “And, as the most requested gift item for eight years in a row, we’re sure there will be plenty of happy individuals this holiday season who can look forward to treating themselves to something shiny and new come January when retailers start to offer promotions on fresh new merchandise.”

According to the survey, shoppers will spend an average of $47.87 per card, up from $45.16 last year. Total spending on gift cards has increased 83 percent since NRF began tracking consumers’ intentions to buy gift cards as holiday gifts in 2003.

Gift cards are a go-to gift for consumers of all ages; the survey found adults 65 and up will spend the most on gift cards at an average of $204.59. Young adults between 18-24 years old will spend the least at an average of $113.75. Additionally, men plan to spend significantly more than women on gift cards ($180.81 vs. $165.09 respectively).

When asked why they are planning to buy gift cards this holiday season, more than half (51.8 percent) of shoppers said that gift cards allow the recipient to select their own gift, up from 43.1 percent last year and the highest since NRF started asking the question in 2010. Additionally, one-quarter (25.6 percent) said gift cards are easier and faster to buy, and 3.8 percent said this helps them stick to their holiday budget.

Home improvement retailers can also benefit from the increase in gift card purchases by having gift cards readily available near registers. If a customer is searching for a gift and are having difficulty choosing what to buy, have sales associates suggest a gift card as another option to allow the individual receiving the gift to select exactly what they want. Post on social media to remind your fans to pick up gift cards to finish up their holiday shopping. Not only do gift cards keep your store in the customers mind, but it will also bring the possibility of new foot traffic to your business as well.

To read more about NRF’s survey, click here.



About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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