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Meijer: Gift cards to go toward needs, not gifts


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Gift cards will more likely be used for needs such as gasoline and groceries, rather than gifts for themselves, according to gift card redemption data from Meijer.

"We saw this trend begin earlier this year when gasoline prices spiked," said Rob Fleener, vp of marketing for Meijer. "In a tough economy, many consumers who receive gift cards are choosing to use them for items they really need, rather than splurging on a gift for themselves."

Meijer reported that while overall sales of gift card are down, gift card sales at Meijer have been on the rise.


"This increase for Meijer is clearly based on the flexibility of a Meijer gift card and the ability to purchase a variety of items with the card," said Fleener. "Just as the use of Meijer gift cards shifted toward gasoline purchases at the peak of gasoline prices last summer, we anticipate a continued increase in the use of gift cards for grocery purchases as economic conditions remain strained."

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