Gift Cards Top Gift Lists

The National Retail Federation announced that its fifth annual gift-card survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch, Worthington, Ohio, revealed gift-card sales are expected to total $26.3 billion this holiday season, compared to $24.8 billion last year.

The survey also discovered that the average consumer will likely spend more on gift cards this year, $122.59, vs. the average $116.51 that was spent in 2006. More than half of all consumers, 56.6%, indicated they plan to buy gift cards this holiday season, and 87.7% indicated they would likely purchase two or more gift cards.

In an unrelated announcement, Seastone, Provo, Utah, expanded its line of gift-card packages for the restaurant industry. Dunkin’ Donuts, Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans Farms, Panera Bread and Subway are among the restaurants that have recently partnered with Seastone.

Although gift-card packages are typically revenue generators, some restaurants offer the gift-card packages free with the purchase of a gift card. www.seastone.com