Gift-Givers Love Gift Card Kiosks, And Retailers Love Them Even More

Depending on who you ask, gift cards are thoughtless gifts prone to losing their value, or a way to ensure that someone will get a gift that they actually like without the soullessness of cash. They’re also extremely convenient. Gift cards are available everywhere from convenience stores to upscale retailers, but how much money does the store where you bought the card get?

Gift cards are the most-requested gift among Americans, something that the retail industry reminds us of every year, but also that only a minority of people admitted that were interested in receiving any last holiday season.

CNN recently profiled one gift card company, Blackhawk, which is behind most of the gift card kiosks that you see in stores offering gift cards from other stores. They own the Gift Card Mall brand, for example. While the racks of cards are convenient, that isn’t why you see them in what seems like every store.

If you’ve ever wondered, a retailer’s commission on a $100 gift card sale from a Blackhawk kiosk is about $4.50. The company takes about the same amount for itself, leaving the store the card is for with about $91.

That retailer isn’t weeping or counting on customers to not cash in their gift cards, though: they know that a customer with a gift card will probably spend more than the face value of the gift card in the end.

This is the most requested gift for 8 years in a row [CNN]

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