If you sold lots of gift cards and/or gift certificates this holiday season the hordes of customers flocking to your store are there to buy, not return ...
From the article "Hordes line up not to return items, but to spend cards" by Cathryn Crenoby Cathryn Creno, The Arizona Republic:
"For those who love to shop, what happens Wednesday could be as exciting as unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day or during Hanukkah.
Malls and popular big-box stores will reopen with marked-down merchandise. Shopaholics and bargain-hunters will flood through the doors -- some with cash, some with returns, but a growing number with gift cards.
More than one-half of Americans made gift cards No. 1 on their holiday lists this year, the National Retail Federation reported. The retail-trade association said Americans would spend $26.3 billion on the cards, up from $24.8 billion in 2006 and $18.5 billion in 2005.
Gift cards are popular because:
• They are easy and inexpensive to wrap and ship, a plus when recipients live far away
• Givers know the recipients will get merchandise they like, often at sale prices
• Cards can be replaced. Some retailers have registration on websites so cards can be replaced if lost or stolen.
• Cards can help givers stay within a budget and ensure siblings get gifts of equal value
Cards help stores by reducing the number of returns they have to process. Last year, 64.3 percent of consumers did not return anything, the National Retail Federation reported.
Cards also extend the holiday season.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said that 29 percent of the cards will be used the week after Christmas and 64.5 percent during January. Because the card dollars aren't counted as revenue until the cards are used, they enhance January's bottom line as well.
Gift Cards = Bigger Sales! If you didn't push them this holiday, put them on your list for 2008. And for Mother's Day, and Father's Day, birthdays ... you name it!