Tag Archives: how much money is left unspent on gift cards

What are the Best Gifts That Keep on Giving?

atkins bookshelf triviaIn the hilarious holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold has been expecting a hefty year-end bonus. When the envelope finally arrives, he opens it and announces with great disappointment: “It’s a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club.” To lighten the mood, his cousin Eddie quickly interjects: “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.” Too bad, Griswold’s curmudgeonly boss didn’t think of sending him a gift card. Don’t let their small size and unobtrusive appearance fool you — the gift card is a superhero on steroids in the retail world — it keeps shattering records as it grows in leaps and bounds. Let’s take a look at some surprising facts about gift cards and why they are considered by consumers, and especially retailers, as the best gifts that keep on giving:

Every American has about $100 of unredeemed gift cards, sitting forlorn in some dusty drawer, forgotten wallet or handbag, etc. This is 100% profit for the retailer — and it adds up quickly. Get this: in 2017, the amount of gift cards that went unused amounted to about $1 billion!

Consumers are lazy. It is far easier to buy a gift card than to shop around to find the perfect gift. Hey, don’t feel guilty — everyone does it. Approximately 93% of American consumers give or receive gift cards. Remember that great line from the film, The Graduate: “I just want to say just one word… plastics.” No kidding. The average individual receives 7 gift cards each year; the average value is $45. And for the past nine years in a row, gift cards are the most requested gifts — driving the industry to the sale of more than $100 billion of gift cards per year.

Do you know why retailers love gift cards? First, they love the profits from unspent cards, of course, but second, they love that 72% of consumers do not have the discipline to stay within the limit of the card; thus, they spend more than the value of the gift card. Genius. Incidentally, the first gift card was introduced by Blockbuster (remember them?) in 1994. The next big boom in gift card sales came about in 2001 when Starbucks introduced gift cards in their stores. In 2013, Starbucks sold $16 billion worth of gift cards. However, one industry that is not happy about the success of the gift card is the gift wrap industry. Since 2001, the sale of gift wrap has steadily declined. Bah, humbug!

The gift card business is so ubiquitous and profitable that even organized crime has dipped its toe in the lucrative pool. Cartels use gift cards to launder money; counterfeiters sell fake gift cards, and thieves use stolen credit cards to purchase gift cards in order to get cash back or buy merchandise that they can sell. “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal…”

The holidays see the highest bump in sales: 20% of gift cards are sold during that busy retail period. And since 90% of gift cards are used within 60 days of purchase, retailers see those gift cards used during the holiday and winter season, boosting sales exponentially. So you see, for retailers gift cards are the best gifts that keep on giving. Tis the season to be merry…

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Read related posts: The Art of Giving Good Gifts
What Returns Cost Retailers

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Trivia
The Origin of the Name Scrooge
The Inspiration for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Twas the Night Before Christmas
A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life
Best Quotes from A Christmas Carol
The Inspiration for Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind Scrooge
What is a First Edition of A Christmas Carol Worth?
The Story Behind “The Night Before Christmas”

For further reading: http://www.giftcards.com/gift-card-statistics
https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/holiday-shoppers-spend-more-31-billion-gift-cards-this-year-according-nrf
https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/
http://consumersunion.org/research/state-gift-card-consumer-protection-laws-2013-update/
https://ejgiftcards.com/10-surprising-gift-card-statistics/
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-gift-card-was-invented-by-blockbuster-in-1994-180948191/
https://www.giftrocket.com/history-of-gift-cards

 


Gift Cards by the Numbers

atkins bookshelf triviaIn the hilarious holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold has been expecting a hefty year-end bonus. When the envelope finally arrives, he opens it and announces with great disappointment: “It’s a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club.” To add some optimism to this sad moment, his cousin Eddie quickly interjects: “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.” Too bad, Griswold’s curmudgeonly boss didn’t think of sending him a gift card — like 93% of all Americans (to the tune of $100 billion annually!) who can’t be bothered spending time hunting for that perfect, personalized gift.

And let’s not even mention how many people never use their gift cards. In 2015 alone, almost $1 billion of gift cards went unused — you read that correctly: $1 billion! Great for retailers, but bad for consumers. Bah humbug! Many consumers do not realize that federal and state consumer protection laws provide such safeguards such as no expiration dates, no fees, and any card with a value of $10 (amount varies from state to state) or less must be redeemed for cash at the consumer’s request. So empty out your coat pockets, purses, backpacks, and drawers and go claim your billion dollars, America!

Bookshelf looks at gift cards by the numbers in America.

Amount consumers spend on gift cards each year: $100 billion+ (2016)
Amount consumers spent on gift cards in 2014: $32 billion
Amount of gift cards that went unused: $1 billion (2013); $750 million (2014); $973 million (2015)
People who admit to losing a gift card: 40%
Average amount consumers spend on gift cards annually: $213
Consumers who either receive of purchase a gift card: 93%
People who want to receive a gift card over other gifts: 58.8%
People who want to store their digital gift cards on their phones: 56%

Number of years that gift cards have been the most requested gift: 10
Consumers who spend more than the gift card’s value: 72%
Average amount consumers spend over the gift card value: 20%
Time period that recipients use the gift card: with the first 60 days
Age group that spends the most on gift cards: seniors (65 years old+)
Age group that spend the least on gift cards: young adults (18-24 years old)
Most popular category for gift cards: Restaurants (34.8%); department stores (34.4%); prepaid cards (22.7%); coffee shop (20.1%); entertainment (17.2%)
Where consumers purchase gift cards: 31% in gift card kiosk (grocery or convenience stores); 27% internet retailers; 27% at an actual store, theatre, or restaurant; 16% at the store, theatre, or restaurant’s website
Top retailers and restaurants that sell online gift cards: 97%

Read related posts: The Art of Giving Good Gifts
What Returns Cost Retailers

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Trivia
The Origin of the Name Scrooge
The Inspiration for Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Twas the Night Before Christmas
A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life
Best Quotes from A Christmas Carol
The Inspiration for Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind Scrooge
What is a First Edition of A Christmas Carol Worth?
The Story Behind “The Night Before Christmas”

For further reading: http://www.giftcards.com/gift-card-statistics
https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/holiday-shoppers-spend-more-31-billion-gift-cards-this-year-according-nrf
https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/
http://consumersunion.org/research/state-gift-card-consumer-protection-laws-2013-update/

 


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