It's a gift-card Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why are gift cards so popular? "It's a four-letter word: easy," said David Brennan a retailing specialist at the University of St. Thomas. "It takes out a lot of the uncertainty about whether or not you're getting the appropriate gift, and it also makes it very, very easy."

Retailers like gift cards because they encourage buying, tend to make consumers a little freer-spending, and a certain percentage of cards — perhaps 10 percent — never get used.

"I've got a Williams-Sonoma gift card with a dollar-and-something on it," said Brennan, who isn't planning a special trip to redeem it. Besides, "I don't think you can buy anything in there for under $2, and if there is, I haven't found it," he said.

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Originally published: 12/17/2010, Pioneer Press