As stores gear up for a busy holiday season, retail experts predict the popularity of gift cards will continue to increase. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported that, in 2005, consumers spent $18.48 billion on gift cards during the holidays, an increase of almost seven percent from the previous year. With Thanksgiving less than two months away, booksellers should check their gift card stock to ensure they will be able to meet the demand, as well as become familiar with the 29 Book Sense gift card designs in the marketplace -- any one of which may be presented for redemption at their stores.
Among them are several limited edition gift cards sponsored by Random House Children's Books featuring Babar, The Cat in the Hat, My Father's Dragon (sponsored by Random House Children's Books and Yearling), and Pat the Bunny. A fifth card -- the "FREADOM" card -- features an illustration created by Roger Roth for The American Story: 100 True Tales From American History (Jennifer Armstrong, Random House Children's). All five Random House cards proved to be wildly popular among stores participating in the gift card program, and they quickly sold out shortly after their availability was announced this past spring.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with Book Sense to keep classic children's books front-and-center throughout the holiday season," said Director of Independent Bookselling Ruth Liebmann.
Said Jill Perlstein, ABA's marketing director, "We really appreciate that Random House Children's Books sponsored these designs, and we look forward to being able to offer some of these as part of our generic card designs in 2007."
Book Sense Gift Cards never expire or lose value, so it is possible that at any time a bookseller could be presented with one of the 29 designs. In addition to the variety of designs, cards may also include the selling store's name, logo, and other identifying information either imprinted on the front or on a sticker. To confirm if a card is a Book Sense Gift Card, look on the back for the Book Sense logo and the "Powered by Givex" logo.
For more information about the Book Sense Gift Card Program, visit ABA's trade website, BookWeb.org.