Weaker holiday gift card sales

Even though more than half of shoppers will buy gift cards, sales will fall this season, according to a survey.

Subscribe to Economy
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Keisha Lamothe, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Fewer shoppers who are stumped on what to buy this holiday season will turn to gift cards, a survey released Tuesday showed.

The National Retail Federation forecast that gift card sales this holiday season will total $26.3 billion, down from the actual $27.8 billion spent last year, according to two separate studies conducted by BIGresearch.

Although sales could be down from the previous year's total sales, consumers intend to spend more than the $24.8 billion they intended to spend in 2006.

This holiday season, the average shopper is forecast to spend $122.59 on gift cards, which is up from $116.51 last year.

"Many consumers pulled back on spending for themselves this year and are hoping to receive a gift card so they can purchase something they may have had their eye on for months," Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO said in a statement.

According to the survey, gift cards will be the one of the most popular gifts this holiday with 56.6 percent of consumers planning to buy one compared to other top selling gifts like clothing, toys and books.

Of those planning to buy a gift card, 87.7 percent of shoppers said they plan to purchase two or more gift cards.

"As consumers become more strapped for time, they are constantly looking for ways to make holiday shopping easier and less stressful," Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch said in a statement. "Gift cards allow for a faster and more convenient way to buy gifts for family and friends."  To top of page

Photo Galleries
Cool cars from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show These are some of the stand-out cars and trucks on display at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. More
Yahoo: 20 years of hits and flops The company that once was Google turns 20. We look back at the many, many brands it has cycled through. Remember Geocities? Broadcast.com? More
10 big dot-com flops Remember Pets.com? The Nasdaq is roaring back towards its all-time high. Here are some of the biggest dot-com busts from the last time the Nasdaq topped 5,000. More