Gift Cards Keep on Giving
The National Retail Federation reported almost $25 billion in gift card sales during the 2006 holiday season, $6 billion more than the previous year. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the cards, retailers hope the proverbial post-Christmas slump may be a thing of the past.
"I think it's for convenience and we sell more of them because of that, because we have them displayed up on our register. And so they see the cute gift cards and want to give them as gifts," said Lindsey Nelson, an assistant store manager at Britches.
However, there are still some holdouts who prefer non-plastic gift certificates.
"Right now we're pretty happy with the paper certificates. We feel it's a little more personalized that way, when you can write 'Happy Birthday' or 'Merry Christmas' or whatever, it might be on the gift certificate itself," said Katie Jarman of Kelani Salon and Spa.
Although most gift cards eventually expire, retailers said the idea of giving the gift of choice is timeless.