Little Plastic Rectangles Keep Holiday Retail Season Marching Well Into The New Year

Flickr.com photo by 401(K) 2012.
Flickr.com photo by 401(K) 2012.
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Gift cards are the stocking stuffers that send people back into the stores.

CEB TowerGroup, a global consulting firm, says $124 billion in gift cards were sold in 2014. And 65 percent of users spend more than the designated amount of those same cards.

Gordon Gough, President of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, says that’s certainly been the case for consumers across the state.

“Consumers may have received a $50 gift card at their favorite retailer, and now have ability to make an ‘up purchase’ because…maybe they want to buy the $100 item they couldn’t afford before, but because they have the $50 gift card now, are able to purchase the $100 item.”

Also, shoppers will continue shopping, hit the food court, and do other activities that boost the post-holiday retail season.

But not everyone gets around to using their gift cards. Last year, an estimated $750 million worth went unspent.

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