Book Sense Gift Card Sales Climb

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

While overall holiday sales ranged from slightly down to solid gains at bookstores across the country, sales of Book Sense gift cards showed strong overall increases. According to gift card sales figures recently compiled by the American Booksellers Association, sales of Book Sense gift cards in November and December 2005 increased more than 38 percent over the same period last year. Total gift card sales for the final two months of the year totaled over $3 million. Sales (both activations and increments) since the program's inception in October 2003 have reached almost $11 million.

In Oswego, New York, The River's End Bookstore saw sales dip ever so slightly this season, store owner Bill Reilly reported. However, "our gift card purchases were up ... and that was a good thing. There's been a steady increase in the purchase of gift cards in comparison to gift certificates," he said. This bears out a National Retail Federation (NRF) study, which ranked gift cards third among the most-requested gift items this season, behind media (books, DVDs, video games, etc.) and apparel.

In 2005, the number of bookstores selling Book Sense gift cards jumped 31 percent over the previous year, to a total of 371 locations in 48 states. In addition, the number of cards activated and incremented last year climbed to more than 245,000, with total sales for the year approaching $6.5 million, a 69 percent jump over 2004.

January is a busy month for the redemption of gift cards, and Book Sense reminds booksellers at non-participating stores that it is easy to direct customers looking to redeem gift cards to a store in the program. A directory of stores is available at

Book Sense gift card FAQs, card designs, and other helpful information is available at Questions may also be addressed to ABA's Jill Perlstein [(800) 637-0037, ext. 6642; [email protected]] or Linda Ford [ext. 6644 or [email protected]]. --Karen Schechner