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.
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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.