Large gift card display

Where are the gift cards!?!?

If you’re like me, and I’m sure plenty of you are, you procrastinate shopping for holidays. Or get so wrapped up in the day-to-day you forget about important events, such as Mother’s Day. Yes, I forgot about Mother’s Day. I know! I’m a bad husband and son; I’ve already come to terms with this.

So it’s Saturday and Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I have no time to shop, nor any idea of what I would even shop for if I had a little extra time, which I didn’t. I needed a plan and I needed it quick. So I devise a plan to gift a $50 gift card to my Mom and wife along with a Mother’s Day card, some flowers and a nice home cooked brunch. I’m thinking this is great, I just saved my “you know what”! With that I’m off to the local grocery store because it’s really close and I’m confident it’s a one-stop-shop for all my needs.

I have a small window of time to gather my goods, get back home and put everything away secretly before being found out. Plowing through the store I make good time on the groceries and flowers. The Mother’s Day cards are a snap since I never read more than 5 cards before making a decision. Now all I need is the gift cards, but where are they? I look all around this massive extremely nice new store, surely they have them here I think to myself. Then I see them, beyond the checkout lanes.

I put my basket as out of the way as possible, leave my groceries behind and approach the display. Not only is the display past these check lanes I had to navigate, but there was a big trashcan right in front of it blocking view and access to a large portion of the selection. Since I did just mentioned selection I’ll tell you there wasn’t much, about a third of the rack was empty and reminded me of a hillbilly smile. Obviously attention to this revenue pipeline had gone to the wayside some time ago. Nevertheless I made due grabbing a Macy’s and JC Penney card, and like that I retain Rock Star status.

After leaving the store, this experience caused me to wonder. Gift cards are a growing 140 Billion dollar industry, why are they sometimes treated like a peasant, cast to the side and paid no mind? I once found a gift card display in frozen foods. Whaaat? Instances like these are why I’m compelled to blog about the lower class treatment of these little plastic money makers.

I know, gift cards can be a pain sometimes, but given that they are wildly popular with consumers, they should be given as much consideration as other categories. Honestly for not a lot of space they do make retailers a lot of money. You may be thinking, commissions are rarely over 10% and are sometimes as low as 2% so we don’t make a ton of money, what’s he talking about? It’s not just about how much you make selling a Home Depot card itself, it’s about what else did that customer purchase while getting the Home Depot card. Without gift cards in-store, customers WILL go elsewhere to where their needs are all under one roof. It’s also likely a customer will go elsewhere if they know ahead of time that gift cards are in an inconvenient location and the selection is rarely restocked.

Now that I’ve told you a little story exemplifying what not to do, let’s cover some best practices to maximize your gift card sales and create a pleasurable shopper experience.

  • Optimize fixture placement for best exposure:
    • Store front-end BETWEEN Center Isles and Cashiers.
    • In or next to the greeting card section.
    • In the floral department.
    • Around the pharmacy dept, which is typically near greeting cards.
  • Add secondary fixtures and check stand racks. The more selection and incremental placement the better!
  • Designate an employee as “The Gift Card Champion”.
    • Instruct them to stock pegs according to planogram regularly.
    • Conduct an inventory adjustment in the online portal at least 4 times a year or when pegs go empty.
  • Know who your Blackhawk account manager is and contact them for advice, questions and additional needs.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.

Why do I work at AWG? “Having grown up locally, my second job as a teenager was actually at Price Chopper on 78th and State Ave., also throughout the years I have known many family and friends that have worked, or are still employed with AWG. Given all my exposure to AWG I have seen a stable, growing, company that cares about it’s employees. The qualities which I hold highest from an employer.” -Bryan