Despite growing competition from online, mall and big-box retailers, downtowns and main streets are primed to succeed in 2018. Merchants have the ability to offer a personal touch and are vital members of their local communities, important factors for shoppers seeking an experience over convenience.
United States businesses spent more than $90 billion on non-cash employee incentives in 2016, according to The Incentive Federation’s Incentive Marketplace Research Study. That massive total, up 17% from three years previous, includes $14.4 billion in travel and $75.6 billion in other incentives like awards points, merchandise, and … you guessed it … gift cards.
A Surprising Number of Gift Cards Aren’t Actually Purchased as Gifts
According to WalletHub, gift card sales are expected to reach $149 billion in 2017, a 54 percent increase from 2007. They’re now the most popular holiday present, and are gaining popularity for other gift-giving occasions, too. Surprisingly, though, a huge percentage of gift cards aren’t purchased to change hands at all.