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November 19, 2009 - NEW YORK—According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, holiday shoppers plan to spend slightly less on gift cards this year, with the average person spending $139.91, compared to $147.33 last year.

The survey, which polled 8,692 consumers from Nov. 3-10, also revealed total gift card spending is expected to reach $23.63 billion in 2009.

Gift card recipients can expect cards with lower monetary values this year. The average value per card this year will be $39.80, compared to $40.54 in 2008. Consistent with last year, 77.2 percent of people will buy at least one card this holiday season.

According to the survey, 22.1 percent of gift givers said the main reason for not buying gift cards is because they are too impersonal, while 12.6 percent of respondents said they are concerned about expiration dates or fees. Others would rather stretch their budgets by buying items on sale (9.1 percent); some worry that the recipient will lose it or never use it (5.3 percent); and some are concerned that the company will go out of business (5.6 percent); or aren’t sure which company to buy a card from (6.6 percent).

Department store gift cards will be the most popular, with 38.4 percent of gift-givers planning to give at least one card from a department store. Gift cards to restaurants (33.4 percent), bookstores (24.4 percent), electronics stores (18.8 percent) and discount stores (16.3 percent) are also among shoppers’ favorites. In addition, nearly 22.1 percent of gift-givers will give a gift card issued by a credit card or bank, the survey showed.

Nielsen Business Media

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