Gift Cards Climb to the Top of the List
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2006--Once upon a time, gift cards were a last resort for people who didn't know what to buy.
According to a new survey conducted by Stored Value Systems, a national leader in electronic gift card programs, that is no longer the case. The results of a national web survey of adults conducted at the end of February revealed that eight in 10 said they would rather receive a gift card to their favorite retailer than any other kind of gift.
"We've been doing surveys and watching gift cards grow in popularity for years," said Bob Skiba, SVS executive vice president and general manager. "Cards are so appreciated that many people specifically ask for gift cards to their favorite store or restaurant."
Survey highlights include:
-- 76 percent of adults purchased gift cards in the 2005 holiday season.
-- 91 percent of adults who had received holiday gift cards had redeemed them before the end of February 2006.
-- Three-quarters of recipients made sure they used up the card completely.
-- Eight in 10 people would rather get a gift card to a favorite retailer than any other kind of gift.
-- More than one-half of respondents say that they always or often add their own money when making a purchase with a gift card.
-- Of those purchasing holiday gift cards, two-thirds bought them in early December.
-- 68 percent of adults prefer or bought gift cards with an appropriate holiday design.
-- Eight respondents in ten say that they spend more (33%) or the same amount (47%) on a gift card than they would on an alternate gift.
-- Those who received gift cards during the 2005 holiday season were given an average of 2.6 cards, with an average value of $42.32.
"There were some fascinating insights that emerged in the survey," Skiba said. "Most people - 91 percent - had redeemed their gift cards before the end of February, which shows how quickly cards are used.
"We were interested in some of the new distribution channels for people receiving cards, such as their availability at gift card malls, at the retailer's website, or as incentives and gifts from employers. We are also seeing that gift card usage is expanding into other areas beyond the traditional winter holiday gift for friends and family. Special events and holidays like Valentine's Day, weddings, birthdays and anniversaries are times when our culture exchanges gifts so it is only natural that consumers use those occasions to offer a loved one a gift card."
Editor's note: A copy of the survey highlights as well as graphs showing three key findings are available electronically by contacting Kedran Whitten at email@example.com.
About Stored Value Systems
Since introducing the first-ever magnetic-striped retail gift card to shoppers in 1995, Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS) is one of the world's leading providers of electronic gift cards and other card-based transaction programs. International retailers rely on SVS to create customer loyalty, increase sales and strengthen their competitive position in the retailer marketplace. Headquartered in the United States, SVS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Comdata(R) Corporation. For more information, visit www.storedvalue.com.
Comdata(R) Corporation (www.comdata.com) is a leading business-to-business issuer and processor of payment cards, primarily in the retail and transportation industries. Comdata's range of products and services include fleet, fuel, purchasing, T&E, payroll/reimbursement, EBT, gift and loyalty cards and processing. A full-service merchant processor, Comdata's platforms support both its proprietary card networks as well as processing for any card tender a merchant may accept. Headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., Comdata employs more than 1,500 people nationally and internationally. Comdata is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN).
Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN) is an information services company serving businesses and employees in the United States, Canada and Europe. Ceridian is one of the top human resources outsourcing companies in each of its markets, and offers a broad range of human resource services, including payroll, benefits administration, tax compliance, HR information systems and employee advisory programs. Through its Comdata subsidiary, Ceridian is a major payment processor and issuer of credit cards, debit cards and stored value cards, primarily for the trucking and retail industries in the United States. www.ceridian.com
Comdata Corporation, Brentwood
Kedran Whitten, 615-376-6986