Gift cards becoming an industry in their own right: Doug Stephens

Gift cards are a booming business in North America, with consumers spending hundreds of billions of dollars on them, Retail Prophet founder Doug Stephens has told Retail Insider. While gift certificates have a long history, Stephens traces the rechargeable gift card to Neiman Marcus, which launched its NM Express card in 1994. Stephens (pictured addressing the Hardlines Conference in 2022) says “the business case is very strong” for retailers, noting that between 10 and 20 percent of gift cards sold are not redeemed in full.