Consumers to spend more than $18 billion this holiday season on gift cards

Gift card sales will total $18.48 billion this holiday season, a 6.6 percent increase over 2004, when holiday gift card sales hit $17.34 billion, according to an NRF survey. The average consumer will spend $88.03 on gift cards this holiday season, 15.6 percent of their holiday gift budget.

“Gift cards take the guesswork out of giving and since they take up minimal shelf space, they are easy for retailers to stock and display,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF president and CEO.

With their popularity at an all-time high, gift cards have made an appearance on the lists of both gift givers and receivers of the third annual NRF Gift Card Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. More than two-thirds (75.5%) of consumers polled said that they plan on purchasing at least one gift card, and more than half (52.3%) of consumers would like to receive gift cards this holiday season. Gift cards ranks third on consumers’ wish lists this year.