The dollar amount for gift card sales rose 3% during the recent holiday season (from Thanksgiving through Christmas), according to Stored Value Solutions (SVS). Customer engagement via gift cards certainly showed solid growth.

SVS reported that during the same period, the number of first-time gift cards purchased increased 1%.

Broken down, spending in the Entertainment category rose an eye-opening 18% year-over-year for overall dollar value spent; first-time gift card sales by dollar value in the Dining category increased by 8%. In both cases, the year-over-year percentage increase was slightly higher than the increase in the number of cards purchased, meaning that people were not only purchasing more cards in those categories, but on average, they were loading a higher value onto them. 

Stored Value Solutions (SVS) consults with top retail brands worldwide to optimize their gift card programs, both brick-and-mortar and digital/mobile. SVS offered a summary of the holiday peak season:

Gift Card Sales Dollar Value up 3% Year-over-Year

Entertainment and Dining Are Up Sharply Year over Year

Apparel and Department Stores Categories Have Modest Gains



Dollar Value Loaded:                    +3%

Number of Cards Purchased:     -1%



Dollar Value Loaded:                    +3%

Number of Cards Purchased:     -2%



Dollar Value Loaded:                    +8%

Number of Cards Purchased:     +6%



Dollar Value Loaded:                    +18%

Number of Cards Purchased:     +15%


“In our ongoing Holiday Watch series, where we’ve been tracking first-time gift card activations since Thanksgiving weekend, sales continue to reflect that Entertainment and Dining are the biggest growth categories,” said Jenny Parris, SVP of Global Marketing and Product at Stored Value Solutions. “This indicates that consumers seem to be leaning more toward experiential gifts.  And when it comes to gift cards, good weather is helping drive increasedGift Cards Customer Engagement traffic to dining.”

SVS is a global provider of gift card and stored value services, with nearly two decades of industry experience and a team of more than 300 professionals. A pioneer in the market, SVS is committed to measurably increasing client sales through data-derived insights, using such stored value products and services as retail gift cards, promotional cards, consumer engagement strategies, mobile interactivity, and ecommerce solutions.

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