Thursday, January 1, 2009

Recession Impacts Gift Card Sales

By Mark Brousseau

Gift card sales haven't been spared from the global recession.

Store gift cards are expected to generate $61 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of 2008, down from $70 billion in 2007, according to Brian Riley, senior analyst at research firm TowerGroup.

The silver lining: those from financial institutions, like Visa gift cards, are expected to edge up to $28 billion in sales from $27 billion in last year's fourth quarter.

Consumers snapped up gift cards in prior years, USA Today reports. Last December, market research firm NPD Group said about 61 percent of Americans bought at least one holiday gift card in 2007, up from 31 percent the year before and just 16 percent in 2005.

What do you think? Post your comment below.


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