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Teens and Gift Cards Go Hand in Hand

By Jun 08, 2005

Teens are having a love affair with gift cards.

In fact, more than 93% of Americans of high-school age have received one or more gift cards during the last 12 months, according to a survey released last week and commissioned by Stored Value Systems Inc., a national gift card supplier and transaction processor.

The survey also found that 67% of teens have purchased a gift card and that the majority of respondents saw the cards as the first choice for a gift as opposed to a fall-back present. About two-thirds of the teens spend up to 10% of their disposable income on gifts.

“Teen gift card purchasing frequency is almost identical to what we found for adults in a similar study we conducted last fall,” said Bob Skiba, executive VP and general manager for Stored Value Systems in a statement. “However, teens receive gift cards at much, much higher levels. About one-fourth of adults say they have never received a gift card while only about 7% of teens have never received one. They’re obviously very popular gifts among this age group.”

Birthdays are the most popular gift-giving occasion for teens with $25 being the most desirable value. Music and apparel gift cards were the most popular retail categories with about 65% of purchases followed by electronics, books, restaurants, video rentals and movie theaters.

Other key findings of the survey include:

* 59% of teens use up gift cards on the first visit, in the first month.
* More than half leave an “insignificant” amount of value on a gift card unused (almost half leave a dollar or less).
* 77% like to give the cards because they know the recipient can get what he or she wants at a favorite store.
* More than 50% of respondents indicated that the appearance and having a choice of gift card designs was important in their purchase decision.
* 91% of boys and 95% of girls received at least one gift card during the last 12 months.

The survey was conducted online in March, 2005, involving 600 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.

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