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Gift Card Biz Keeps on Giving

Shoppers told the National Retail Federation (NRF) in a recent survey that they plan to spend more than ever on gift cards, especially since retailers are increasingly offering more ways to personalize and deliver them as holiday gifts.
     NRF's 2012 holiday consumer spending survey, which was conducted by BigInsight and polled 9,383 consumers from Nov. 1-6, found 81.1% of shoppers will purchase at least one gift card and will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards - the highest amount in the survey's 10-year history.
     Total spending on gift cards will reach $28.79 billion.
     A record number of consumer said they will give their friends or family members a gift card for an online merchant (11.2%) and coffee shops (18.1%). Others will buy gift cards for department stores (39.1%), book stores (20.8%), grocery/gasoline stores (12.6%), and discount stores (14.2%). And 33.3% of shoppers will send friends and family for a night out with restaurant gift cards.
     According to NRF's first holiday survey, released in October, six in ten (59.8%) of consumers polled said they would like to receive gift cards this year, up from 57.7% last year.

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