Procrastinators: Starbucks thanks you.
The coffee giant anticipates a record number of gift cards to be bought on Christmas Eve as people race to get their holiday shopping done.
Last year, more than 2 million cards were sold on Christmas Eve – an equivalent, the company said, of about 1,500 Starbucks cards per minute in their U.S. and Canadian stores. This year, the company expects to sell even more.
“One in every 8 American adults received a Starbucks Card last holiday season, and we’re well on track for another record performance in Starbucks card sales,” said Ryan Records, vice president of cards at Starbucks.
Gift cards continue to be big business for retailers and service providers.
The National Retail Federation predicts eight in 10 shoppers will buy a gift card this holiday season. Gift cards have topped Christmas wish lists for eight years in a row, the trade group reports.
At 7-Eleven, last-minute shoppers rush into the convenience store to buy gift cards such as the Vanilla Visa and those for iTunes, Xbox and Google Play, the company said.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said the rush to buy begins Dec. 23 and lasts until Christmas Day, as 7-Eleven is one of the few retailers open on the holiday. Gift-card sales at 7-Eleven have grown by “double-digit percent” year-over-year in the past four years, Chabris said.
The popularity of the Starbucks gift card also has spiked since it was launched 13 years ago. More than $20 billion has been loaded onto the cards, including $4 billion in the past year.
The company offers more than 100 card designs, including for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.