Surge in Holiday Gift Card Popularity Means Many Americans will Choose Their Own Gifts

Wal-Mart Knows what Shoppers will Buy and Empowers Customers to Focus on “Me”


BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 28, 2006 – The stockings and tree have already been taken down, but many Christmas wishes can still come true. After spending the holiday season focusing on friends and families, ‘tis now the season for consumers to focus on themselves – what they want and what they need. 

With the growing popularity of gift cards as holiday gifts – overall sales will total $24.8 billion, up $6 billion from last year  – many Americans will be selecting their own gifts now that the holiday excitement is over. As more than half of Americans have said they would like to receive a gift card this holiday season 1, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, predicts that last year’s gift card redemption trends will continue.

“With more than 127 million weekly shoppers, consumers have told us how they are likely to spend their gift cards this season and Wal-Mart has stocked its stores to meet their needs,” said Steve Bratspies, Wal-Mart’s vice president of marketing. “Many shoppers will use their gift cards to purchase the big-ticket electronic items they wanted to find under the tree, such as video game consoles and HDTVs.  Another group of gift card recipients will use their cards on practical items that they need, such as food and the latest CDs to make their New Year’s celebrations complete.”

Gift cards purchased during the holiday season are most heavily redeemed in the first weeks after Christmas, which means Americans will enjoy shopping for their own gifts into the new year.  With no expiration date and the flexibility to redeem gift cards online at walmart.com, gift cards are truly a gift that keeps giving.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

Source: National Retail Federation

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