Shoppers are expected to pull back on buying gift cards again this year, according to a national survey.
Holiday shoppers plan to spend slightly less on gift cards, with the average person spending $139.91, compared to $147.33 last year. Total spending on gift cards is expected to reach $23.63 billion, according to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch.
"In a year when many people have pulled back on everything but the necessities, people love the idea of receiving a gift card to select something they've had an eye on," said Tracy Mullin, chief executive of the National Retail Federation. "Though gift cards never go on sale, many retailers are offering incentives on these popular items to help bargain-hunters stretch their budgets even farther."
Gift recipients can also expect cards with smaller values this year. The average value per card this year will be $39.80, compared to $40.54 in 2008. Consistent with last year, 77.2 percent of people will buy at least one card this holiday season.