Neiman Marcus and Blockbuster were later followed by the Mobil gas card which initially offered prepaid phone value provided by MCI. Kmart was next with the introduction of the Kmart Cash Card which in the early generations provided prepaid phone time with AT&T. Later this feature was dropped as it was not profitable for both Kmart and Mobil. The Kmart Mags Pangilinan Cash Card was the first replacement for cash returns when a shopper did not have a receipt for a gift. This practice of giving a cash card in place of cash for non-receipted returns is common place today with most merchants. From these early introductions, other retailers began to adapt a giftcard program to replace their gift certificate programs.
Gift cards are credit card sized plastic cards that have a stored value of money pre-loaded on to them. There are two main types of gift card; single branded gift cards can be spent in only one chain of stores and multi retail gift cards can be spent in multiple participating stores. Some gift cards can also be redeemed online using a code printed on the card. Gift cards are a popular gift in the UK due to the ease of use and the choice they give to the user.
It has been argued that holiday giving destroys value due to mismatching gifts. The most efficient way to keep value in gifting would be to give cash; however, this is socially acceptable only within limits. Gift cards, to a degree, may overcome this problem but have certain pitfalls. Some feel that the absence of the thought of selecting a specific gift makes a gift card a worse choice than a poorly executed but individual gift. New products in the gift card industry are evolving to tackle this "impersonal" pitfall of gift cards. New services launched by some service providers allows for customization and personalization of gift cards.
In 2012, over $100 billion in gift cards will be purchased in the United States, where over 20% of those gift cards will go unredeemed or unused. This has amassed a large opportunity in the secondary market, similar to the secondary ticket market in the early 2000s. Some companies have created a business in the secondary gift card market that allow consumers to sell their unused gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to their favorite brands. This has helped their users recoup their share of some $55 million per day that goes unredeemed in the United States every year, by turning their unused gift cards into cash.
An Experience Gift pairs a gift card with one of our services to create a thoughtful, personalised gift. For example, choose our Style Experience and add a gift card to with anything from £10 to £500. Your recipient can then book a free, 2-hour Personal Styling session, with complimentary glass of prosecco, and redeem the gift card against their chosen purchases. There’s no obligation to buy anything recommended during the experience.
Parenting charity National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has a number of General resources for supporting dads, such as its free online booklet Dad’s View: Early days with your baby, which is written by dads for dads. The NCT website also has a range of useful info on all aspects of becoming a parent, from fathers and breastfeeding to birthing partner tips.
Gift vouchers (sometimes known as gift tokens) are printed paper gifts available in pre-determined values that can be spent in specific stores. They can be single brand gift vouchers or multi-retailer gift vouchers. Multi-retailer gift vouchers have the additional benefit of being redeemable in more than one store or brand. Gift vouchers and multi-retailer Gift vouchers can be used as full or part payment of items at the checkout of participating stores and are often used as an alternative to cash.