Millennials More Likely to Spend Gift Cards at Shopping Centers

Millennials More Likely to Spend Gift Cards at Shopping Centers

Millennials who received gift cards during the 2015 holiday shopping season were more inclined to redeem them within shopping centers than either Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) just released Gift Card Survey.

According to the survey, 58 percent of Millennials say they will redeem them at stores or other physical locations, such as theaters and restaurants, within shopping centers, followed by 52 percent of Gen-Xers and 46 percent of Baby Boomers. Nearly eight in 10, or 77 percent, of consumers who received gift cards said they expected to redeem them in a physical store.

“It’s interesting to see that consumers across generations still value the gift card and are eager to use it towards experiences offered at shopping centers,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO, ICSC. “Gift cards provide consumers with a practical and convenient way to shop across multiple retail channels. They afford recipients flexibility to spend money wherever, whenever they want – which has become increasingly important in today’s age of convergence between the digital and physical worlds.”

Other survey findings included:

  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of all American adults received gift cards during the holiday season, averaging $85.10 per person. For those who received at least one gift card, the average amount was $128.20.
  • Of all age groups, Millennials are the most likely to purchase additional items when redeeming gift cards (64 percent). This includes spending on additional items in the same store where they redeem their gift card or pick up an online purchase in store, and even making purchases at stores they did not have gift cards to redeem.
  • Additionally, 31 percent of Millennials quickly redeemed their gift cards, doing so by January 2016 compared to only 23 percent of Baby Boomers. While all age groups received a gift card – Millennials come out on top, with 78 percent receiving at least one, compared to 65 percent of Gen-Xers and 59 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • When it comes to the type of gift cards received, consumers favor opportunities that will provide them with an experience rather than a tangible product. The most popular was for full-service restaurants (29 percent), beating out cards for discount stores (26 percent), general Visa/ MasterCard/American Express (21 percent), coffee/fast food (19 percent), online only (18 percent) traditional department stores (14 percent), and electronics (10 percent).
  • In terms of gender, little difference was observed between the number of males and females who received gift cards (65 percent of males vs. 67 percent of females). However, there is a substantial gender gap when it comes to the dollar amount received with adult males receiving an average amount of $96.60 vs. $74.40 for adult females.

The ICSC Gift Card Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from February 25-28, 2016. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1018 adults 18 years of age and older.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials.