Dealing Cards Is Very Profitable

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This holiday season, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts gift card sales to total $18.48 billion, a 6.6 percent increase over last year. To meet the growing demand, Book Sense is advising stores participating in the gift card program to check stock now and reorder as necessary. All Book Sense gift card designs, except two, are now in stock, and an e-mail advisory was recently sent to booksellers regarding backordered cards and presenters.

Book Sense stores that would like to join the program in time to take advantage of some of the holiday rush must act quickly to receive generic gift cards by mid-December.

Gift cards rank third on consumers' wish lists this year, according to NRF's third annual Gift Card Survey, which predicts that the average consumer will spend $88.03 on gift cards this holiday season -- 15.6 percent of their holiday gift budget. More than two-thirds of consumers polled said that they plan on purchasing at least one gift card, and more than half of consumers would like to receive gift cards this holiday season, according to the survey.

A consumer study, conducted by Accenture, found that the gift card category has much room for growth: Most respondents indicated that they give or receive only one to three gift cards per year, yet more than 40 percent said they prefer a gift card over a gift.

Book Sense Gift Cards, redeemable in 359 bookstores around the country and on participating stores' web sites, have been very popular this year. Large supplies of the Book Sense Happy Holidays design and the Forgotten Realms design from Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragon series are now out of stock and will not be available again during this season. However, booksellers can expect to see these and 20 other Book Sense Gift Card designs as consumers begin to cash in their gift cards in the coming months.

Booksellers can reorder gift cards and presenters at using their ID and password. (Stock is limited on all of the remaining Wizards of the Coast designs.)

To sign up for the Book Sense Gift Card Program or for more information, contact ABA's Jill Perlstein at [email protected] or (800) 637-0037, ext. 6642; or Linda Ford at [email protected] or ext. 6644.