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WASHINGTON -- Retailers can expect to see a surge in gift card sales this holiday season, according to the fourth annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Gift Card Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. This year's survey estimated that gift card sales will total $24.81 billion this holiday season, a $6 billion increase over 2005.
Furthermore, the average consumer is expected to spend more on gift cards than they did last year ($116.51 vs. $88.03 in 2005), according to the survey.
"The popularity of gift cards has increased at a remarkable rate," said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and c.e.o., in a statement. "Consumers love gift cards because they take the guessing out of holiday shopping, and retailers love them because they are easy to stock and take up minimum shelf space."
A growing number of supermarkets, including Giant Eagle and Bi-Lo, are offering gift cards for their own stores, as well as other non-food retailers, during the holidays and year round.
Gift card information:
NRF continues to forecast that holiday sales will increase 5.0 percent this year to $457.4 billion.
The NRF 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey, which polled 8,090 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8, 2006. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.