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December 28, 2004

Gaga for Gift Cards

Amey Stone

If you thought holiday shopping was frenzied before Christmas (indeed, retailers and credit card companies report a surge in activity in the last few shopping days before Dec. 25), check out what's happening now.

Thanks in large part to the surge in popularity of gift cards, the real crowds at the malls are showing up post-Christmas, according to this story on BusinessWeek Online.

The great news for consumers, as one reader pointed out to me: Now shoppers get to take advantage of all those post-holiday sales.

He writes: "From December 26th to through February retailers and wholesalers will be clearing their shelves to reduce inventory (and inventory taxes) as well as make room for spring merchandise. These price reductions are often huge. The gift giver gives at the right time and the gift card holder can sometimes stretch the value buy as much 100%."

That sounds like a good deal all around.

I got a gift card under the tree this year. A Barnes & Noble card from my husband who admits he got it for me in impulse at checkout.

I'm looking forward to spending it -- but not all at once and certainly not in the next week. Part of the fun of the card will be keeping it in my wallet for a while. Then, when a book comes out that I want to read, I can stop in and buy it for myself, courtesy of my husband.

05:19 PM

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