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    Albertsons, Blackhawk Spruce Up Gift Card Mall

    Assortment includes new Five Back Visa

    Albertsons Companies Inc. and longtime partner Blackhawk Network, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of prepaid gift cards, payment tools and rewards, have unveiled its latest gift card mall in time for the 2016 holiday season.

    The malls include a number of variable open- and closed-loop cards, as well as several new products such as the Five Back Visa gift card, which allows customers to earn up to 5 percent back on purchases made at participating merchants. The new gift card works just like a regular Visa gift card and comes in variable load.

    Gift cards remain popular with consumers, as shoppers value their ease of purchase and use, and enjoy picking them up in regularly visited locations like the grocery store. Last year, The Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) found that about three in four consumers surveyed (73 percent) planned to give at least one gift card last holiday season, a slight increase from the previous year. More than 58 percent of shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation in 2015 also said that they would like to receive a gift card, making them the most requested gift item nine years in a row.

    Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Companies Inc. operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 19 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

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