All I Want for Christmas Is a Gift Card

Gift Card EvolutionThe National Retail Federation (NRF) just published its annual holiday consumer spending survey, which showed, for the eighth year in a row, that gift cards are the preferred gift for the winter holidays. Sixty-two percent of respondents would rather have a gift card than clothing, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, electronics or jewelry. This will translate into a near $100 billion spend on gift cards in 2014.

Blackhawk Network’s research department has been tracking the preference of gift cards over physical gifts for the last five years. When respondents are asked which they prefer: a gift card from their favorite store versus a gift selected for them, about 75 percent say they’d prefer the gift card. Why are gift cards so coveted? For recipients, it’s about control and choice. For some givers, it’s about convenience. For others, it’s the reassurance of knowing recipients are getting what they want.

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