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The year’s most popular holiday gift

Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:12

Dec. 19 - 80 percent of U.S. shoppers plan to buy gift cards this holiday season, and according to the National Retail Federation, Americans are spending the most per card since the recent recession. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Gift options galore this year- but with less than a week to go before the Christmas holiday gift cards are increasingly the thing to give and to get. SOUNDBITE: HOLIDAY SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "For my older nieces and nephews really I don't know what to get for them so I get the gift cards." SOUNDBITE: HOLIDAY SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I can make use of any card I get so it's always fun" More than 80 percent of shoppers plan to buy gift cards this holiday season- and they are expected to be the top gift this year according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers will spend an average of $155 on cards- that's the highest amount since 2007. Bruce Bower is the CEO of Plastic Jungle, an online gift card reseller which says it has seen triple digit revenue growth so far this year. SOUNDBITE: BRUCE BOWER, CEO, PLASTIC JUNGLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Gift cards are the number one requested gift and they are the number one given gift, so I think between consumers who want to receive them and consumers who find it very easy to give them that's really driving the growth. This year it's expected that store issued gift cards will be around $100 billion dollars. So it's a really huge market. " Some gift cards have become gifts in their own right. Target offers ones that light up and play music, and another that come complete with Lego kits to build its bulldog mascot and other toys. Mobile or electronic cards are also becoming popular- stored on smartphones- and eliminating the need for a physical card at all. Retailers are also using gift cards to create loyalty with their consumers. SOUNDBITE: BRUCE BOWER, CEO, PLASTIC JUNGLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Several retailers are saying if you buy $100 of gift cards you might get another $20 or there are retailers who say if you use a $25 gift card in a restaurant you might get a free desert for instance and what they are trying to do is create more value around gift cards." And gift cards are expected to boost holiday shopping in another way- according to American Express 22 percent of Americans plan to cash in gift cards the day after Christmas. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.

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The year’s most popular holiday gift

Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:12