Looking Good: 2006 Book Sense Gift Card Sales

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Since the inception of the Book Sense Gift Card program in fall 2003 through December 31, 2006, participating stores have sold 700,100 cards, with a total value of more than $18 million and an average sale per card of $25.96. For the 2006 holiday season, Book Sense Gift Card sales grew nine percent over last year.

"I think the numbers speak for themselves," said Jill Perlstein, ABA's director of marketing. "It's good news that independent booksellers have been able to grow their sales of gift cards year-over-year in keeping with the industry trend."

Perlstein noted that Random House Children's Books' support of the program was a big part of the program's success in 2006. "Last year their sponsorship of five card designs allowed the booksellers to offer their customers a choice of designs at a nominal cost," she said.

Additionally, the Random House-sponsored FREADOM Gift Card, which stores with Book Sense started using in September to promote Banned Books Week, proved to be a big success, raising over $7,000 for the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

"We expect to build on the success of the FREADOM card by launching another ABFFE card later this year," Perlstein said. "In addition, we now have eight bookstores that have created custom designs.

"We expect to offer two new publisher-sponsored cards in 2007 and possibly one more generic design. This will help ensure that the Book Sense Gift Card Program continues to offer something for everyone."