Gift cards see sharp rise as UK consumers celebrate their birthday in isolation

According to the latest forecast from the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA), gift card providers like major retailers, hospitality brands and multi-store gift card providers are experiencing a surge in demand in preparation for the weeks ahead.22.3 million Britons will celebrate their birthday in the next four months, according to ONS data. This, coupled with popular upcoming gifting occasions like Father’s Day and Easter, will set the stage for increased demand over the coming months. 

GCVA has also forecast a rise in spontaneous gifting to show support for loved ones during the pandemic, and a surge in congratulations gift cards as new mothers will give birth to an estimated 220,000 new babies over the next four months.Due to the pandemic, one in four gifts received over the coming months are likely to be digitally ‘pinged’ rather than posted. And digital gifting is expected to account for 50% of all UK gift cards.Jamie Mackenzie, director of marketing at Sodexo, commented: “As most of the UK adapts to the reality of social distancing, many are missing out on important events and milestones that they would normally celebrate with their loved ones. “Employers are helping staff with increased Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), and employees are using their benefits to purchase digital gift cards for family or friends, or to support local business through such a challenging and unprecedented time. The amount of vouchers bought and donated to schools has increased, for example. People are taking heed of isolation advice, but they still want to support others; that’s what we’re seeing.”

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