Yesterday, we heard that Dan Butler of the National Retail Federation has been snooping around to see what the hot sellers will be for the upcoming holiday season. And we learned that technology in fashion — clothing with built-in pockets to hold cell phones and PDAs — will be big.
Butler also pegs gift cards as a popular item. Since he particularly mentioned personalized gift cards, all the researchers here at Retail Strategies have been digging to see what’s available.
We found the Corn Card USA, a recycled card billed as an “environmentally friendly alternative to standard plastic cards.” According to Signature Card, the Corn Card is made from corn, a domestically grown resource. It looks and feels like traditional petroleum-based cards, but it comes from a renewable resource. And, it uses the same printing and personalization as is used in more traditional plastic cards.
Gift cards today can be personalized with the name of the recipient. They come with various greetings tailored to different circumstances — Warmest Wishes, Nice Job, for example. They are available in small denominations, handy for people who want to remember someone during the holidays but not spend a whole lot.
Ernex, a marketing company, reports that a jewelry and accessories retailer tripled the number of gift certificates and the total dollar amount sold during last year’s holiday season compared with the 2005 season through its gift card program. Ernex also notes a study, which found that recipients like gift cards and do not — as was often the case with gift certificates — consider them last-minute or thoughtless gifts.
Card me, baby.