(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The National Retail Federation and received via
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
Gift Cards: The Season’s Hottest Gift, According to NRF
- Total Gift Card spending to reach $28.79 Billion-
Washington, November 14, 2012 - It’s the win-win gift for givers
and receivers, and this holiday season, shoppers plan to spend
more than ever on the most flexible and convenient of gifts: a
gift card. With retailers providing increasingly creative ways
for gift cards to be personalized and delivered, NRF’s 2012
holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight shows
that 81.1 percent of shoppers will purchase at least one gift
card and will spend an average of $156.86 on gift cards, the
highest amount in the survey’s 10-year history.  Total spending
on gift cards will reach $28.79 billion. 
According to NRF’s first holiday survey, released in October,
six in ten (59.8%) of those polled said they’d like to receive
gift cards this year, up from 57.7 percent last year. 
“Retailers are pulling out all the stops this year to make their
gift cards personal, convenient and desirable,” said NRF
President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Savvy shoppers know they can
purchase a much appreciated gift card with ease either in store,
online or through their mobile device, and give their loved ones
the option to buy something they really want or need.” 
Consumers will spend an average of $43.75 on each card they buy.
As in previous years, men plan to spend significantly more on
gift cards than women, shelling out an average of $172.98 versus
women’s $141.66. 
When it comes to which gift cards people will buy this holiday
season, more people than ever say they will give their friends
or family members a gift card for an online merchant (11.2%) and
coffee shops (18.1%). Others will buy gift cards to department
stores (39.1%), book stores (20.8%), grocery/gasoline stores
(12.6%), and discount stores (14.2%). And 33.3% of shoppers will
send friends and family for a night out with restaurant gift
“Gift cards are the perfect practical and personal gift,
allowing the recipient to treat themselves to something nice, or
even something they need,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights
Director Pam Goodfellow. “Whether it’s a mobile card that
consumers can use whenever it’s most convenient or one that
includes video or audio, gift cards can still be extremely
More than one in five (21.1%) gift givers say they’ll buy gift
cards because they are easier and faster than traditional gifts.
But practicality comes out as the most likely reason shoppers
will buy gift cards this year as 44.7 percent say they’ll buy
gift cards because they allow the recipient to select their own
gift (down from the 46.4% of people who said the same last
About the Survey 
The NRF 2012 holiday spending survey was designed to gauge
consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter
holidays. The survey polled 9,383 consumers and was conducted
for NRF by BIGinsight from November 1-6, 2012. The consumer poll
has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent. 
BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights
from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of
information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and
provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the
economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic
and world issues. 
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of
retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and
sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from
the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers
operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support
one in four U.S. jobs - 42 million working Americans.
Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily
barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs
campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and
encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and
Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job
Shari Brown or Kathy Grannis
(855) NRF-PRESS 
(bjh) NY 
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