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    Gift Cards Shine in Blackhawk's Holiday Survey

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - More than 80 percent of gift getters would prefer to shop for their own gift, using a gift card from a favorite retailer, according to a national online survey commissioned by Safeway subsidiary Blackhawk Network here, the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - More than 80 percent of gift getters would prefer to shop for their own gift, using a gift card from a favorite retailer, according to a national online survey commissioned by Safeway subsidiary Blackhawk Network here, the largest provider of third-party prepaid cards.

    "It's not surprising that gift cards continue to grow in popularity each holiday season," noted Teri Llach, group v.p. of Blackhawk Network's product development and marketing group, in a statement. "People who gave or received them in previous years have enjoyed their experiences with them and have become repeat customers."

    In a recent Consumer Reports survey, gift cards came in second behind clothes as the most-desired holiday gift. Industry observers anticipate gift card sales to hit $80 billion in 2006, with holiday purchases making up about 60 percent of those sales.

    Blackhawk Network's Gift Card Mall offers gift cards from over 100 brands, among them Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Macy's, and Sears, to appeal to shoppers of varying demographics. The Gift Card Mall can be found at Safeway, A&P, Bashas', Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Giant Food Stores, Hannaford Supermarkets, Harmon, King Kullen, Kings, Lowes Foods, Martin's Food Markets, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Tops Markets, and United Supermarkets.

    Blackhawk Network includes more than 60,000 storefronts and reaches more than 135 million consumers each week. The company also has offices in Canada and the United Kingdom.

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