onsdag 19 november 2008

Gift card sales seen down 6 percent this holiday | U.S. | Reuters

Got this information through Twitter.

Gift card sales seen down 6 percent this holiday | U.S. | Reuters: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sales of once-hot gift cards are expected to fall nearly 6 percent this holiday season as shoppers try to stretch their dollars by buying discounted merchandise, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Tuesday.

Gift card sales are forecast to fall to $24.9 billion this holiday season, according to the trade group's annual gift card survey. Last year, gift card sales were expected to rise 6 percent to $26.3 billion, up from $24.8 billion in 2006 and $18.5 billion in 2005.

Not only did the survey find that fewer people plan to purchase gift cards, gift card shoppers are also expected to spend less on the cards -- $147.33 this year compared with $156.24 in 2007.

'Since gift cards never go on sale, some price-conscious shoppers will be passing up gift cards in favor of holiday bargains,' said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin in a statement.

The expected decline in gift card sales comes as the NRF has forecast that holiday sales will grow at their slowest rate since 2002. Shoppers are confronting slumping home values, volatile energy prices, rising unemployment and a credit crunch, which has curtailed their ability to spend."

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