Gift card purchases will be popular for 2010 holidays

When thinking about the 2010 holiday season, no one is ready to pop open the corks on champagne bottles yet.

But a new survey just released by the National Retail Federation shows that business owners actually may have at least some reasons to celebrate, this holiday season.

The survey, conducted by BIGresearch earlier this month, indicated that shoppers plan to spend slightly more than they did during the holidays, last year. Overall spending is expected to increase by 2.3%

Discounts and sales will drive many to the malls. But when they get there, shoppers say they’re also more likely to spend money on themselves than they’ve been since the economy tanked.

Another good sign: Roughly 23% of surveyed consumers said they plan to ask for jewelry, this year, up 10% over last year. The most popular gift request for 2010 is gift cards.  Some 57% of respondents said that gift cards are at the top of their holiday wish lists.

Marketers who make gift cards available to customers will be well positioned to take advantage of these still-popular alternatives to giving cash.

To read all of the survey results, click here.

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