State retailers are trying to cash in on a $24.7 billion nationwide industry by enticing shoppers with holiday gift card promotions.
Karen Fluharty, founder of Strategy & Style Marketing Group, in Montville, says the gift card industry has exploded as a way for merchants to stretch their holiday sales through the first few weeks of January.
“What the shopping centers (are) finding is consumers who get gift cards as a gift during the holiday season — or anytime, generally — will spend above and beyond what the gift card is worth, contributing even more than the gift card sale itself,” Fluharty said.
Fluharty, who has run marketing campaigns for Prime Retail outlet malls and other major shopping centers, said consumers that receive $50 gift cards are more likely to spend $75 in the store, because to them it feels like they are only spending $25.
The Mall at Short Hills, in the section of Millburn, announced Monday a promotion offering a complimentary $20 gift card when three or more gift cards together worth $150 are purchased.
Fluharty said other ways of cashing in with the plastic gifts include enhancing the gift card product itself with additional services like customized gift boxes, and reminding shoppers between Christmas and New Year’s Day that their stack of gift cards are redeemable in the center’s stores.
“When gift cards are sold, it is a very separate silo from your center sales performance, because the shopping center industry’s performance and sales are based completely on the collective sales of the shopping center,” she said.