Use Your Gift Card Day is the 3rd Saturday in January
The holidays have passed, which leaves many people missing that holiday cheer. But there is still more joy to be had. Gift cards are one of the most common gifts during the holiday season, so most of us probably now have a few of them. We might have even put them away in our wallets and forgotten about them entirely. However, today is the day to dig them out and use them up!
History of Gift Cards
It is said that gift giving is an instinct that has been passed down for thousands of years. Gift giving has laid the groundwork for bartering and the basis of our modern economic system. Gift giving is an important part of human interactions and is what strengthens bonds and defines relationships. Also, that the giver reaps the benefits more than the receiver.
In the 1930s, major department stores came out with gift certificates and in the '70s, McDonalds came out with their Christmas Gift Certificate Program, leading to every vendor, restaurant and store following suit shortly after. However, problems arose leading to forgery issues with color printers and untracked tracking numbers allowing for the fakes to almost be identical and led to managerial problems when it came to issuing and redeeming the gift certificates.
In 1994, Neiman Marcus was the first person to sell gift cards. But it wasn’t until Blockbuster Entertainment started selling gift cards that gift cards were put on the map. As more retailers hopped on the gift card train, better options and improvements were made. Like in 2001, Starbucks created the reloadable gift card. By 2002, gift card sales grew to $37 billion. Consumers now had the choice of store-offered custom designs or photos on gift cards.
Gift cards can either be digital or plastic and found in most super markets, convenience stores, or other specialty stores. So, whether it is online or in store - get the gift that keeps on giving.