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Gift Cards – An Overlooked Revenue Stream

While offering gift cards in store is a convenience for customers, savvy retailers are also viewing them as a revenue center. Third party gift cards are actually one of the highest profit centers per square foot on the sales floor.

Statistics show that the average person spends over $300 per year on gift cards; this is largely due to the fact that gift cards are the most requested gift for the last 12 years straight. This industry has boomed to over $160 billion in annual sales.

In order to drive gift card sales, the first tactic is to look at the display itself. Is it worn out and ready for a refresh? Is it fully stocked with up to date cards? While assessing the fixture, one should also consider the size and placement of the display. It’s an important sales tactic to present the gift card category to the customer with as large of a display as your space can accommodate in a prominent well-trafficked area at or near the front of the store. This allows for maximum shopping content and creates a presence for customers to know and understand that your store is in the gift card business, thus driving those sales.

In 2018, Sullivan’s in Winnebago created a large frontend display and immediately saw a 110 percent jump in their gift card sales. Currently, they are up in this category 21 percent year to date.

In 2019, additional placements to check lanes were added to Queen’s Price Choppers and is now seeing large increases over same week sales, including going as high as 477 percent in some cases.

Promotions and loyalty programs are other ways to boost sales. Forty two percent of shoppers said they would buy a gift card just because it’s tied to an incentive or reward. Incentivized promotions have proven to lift sales over 30 percent when compared against stores not running a promotion during the same weeks. Stores that have introduced fuel reward points on gift card purchases experienced sales increases of 116 percent to a staggering 1,300 percent in just the first year.

Increased sales are the goal of AWG and its membership. That’s why we need to deep dive into each and every category and product in our member stores to maximize its profits. Don’t overlook gift cards in your store and all the sales potential it holds.

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