Convenience retailers are building incremental sales with "gift card mall" selections from a host of local and national retail c
A Gift for all Seasons
by John Lofstock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Convenience and grocery executives are desperately looking for new growth drivers. And with intense pressure from competitive channels that has flattened margins, fresh revenue streams are hard to come by. But, after observing the continued popularity of prepaid services, marketers are finding the next logical step is a comprehensive prepaid gift card program offering cards to popular local and national chains.
These "gift card malls," the term referring to a designated display of retailer gift cards, offer marketers a turnkey solution to providing customers with a range of prepaid services that can be purchased and activated right at the front counter. Card categories range from dining, clothing and entertainment to home services.
The benefit of the gift card offering is there is no drop off from the cards consumers would purchase directly from participating retailers, though they are typically available in fewer denominations. For instance, while most retailers allow you to buy a gift card in any amount at one of their stores or online, the cards available in convenience stores are typically available in $25, $50 and $100 increments, said Teri Llach, group vice president of Blackhawk Network, a gift card processor and subsidiary of Safeway Corp.
"Prepaid gift card malls are all about offering consumers convenience and enhancing value to the one-stop shop," Llach said. "It's rare these days that retailers can create an entirely new category segment in their stores that generates some excitement, but prepaid gift cards are doing that. Penetration is growing and we are anticipating tremendous growth in this area."....for more of the story