Gift Card Recipients Spend More Than Card Value, Study Shows

NEW YORK - Consumers are putting gift cards on their holiday wish lists and plan to spend more than a gift card's value when they redeem it, according to the findings of an Accenture survey of 545 consumers in the United States, released yesterday. Thirty-six percent of respondents report preferring to receive a gift card vs. a gift, and 48% say they spend more than the value of the card.

NEW YORK - Consumers are putting gift cards on their holiday wish lists and plan to spend more than a gift card's value when they redeem it, according to the findings of an Accenture survey of 545 consumers in the United States, released yesterday. Thirty-six percent of respondents report preferring to receive a gift card vs. a gift, and 48% say they spend more than the value of the card. Sixty-four percent plan on using the cards to "treat themselves" to something they would not otherwise buy, while 33% plan to use their gift cards to buy sale items. The survey finds gift cards are used widely. "This is a wake-up call for retailers looking for ways to increase sales," said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture's retail practice in North America. "Post-holiday shoppers with gift cards are likely to look for full-price merchandise rather than for the typical post-holiday bargains. Smart retailers will make sure there is brand-new product in the store for these gift card shoppers."