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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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    Supply-chain crisis is bad for iPhones, great for gift cards

    Americans love gift cards. For younger generations, they’ve become their favorite gift.

    Which is good, because they’re about to get lots of them.

    In an economy hamstrung by all types of global supply-chain snarls, mounting product shortages – even Apple is reportedly slashing production – are making giving gift cards a fail-safe way to ensure there are presents under the Christmas tree. Shoppers plan to boost spending on them by 27% this holiday season to about $270 per person, according to a survey by payment service Blackhawk Network. Those gains will push cards to about 40% of their total gift purchases.

    “This holiday season is going to be huge” for gift cards, said Saumil Mehta, general manager for Square Inc.’s point-of-sale division. They aren’t “as free-form as just handing someone a wad of cash. But it’s not so specific either. It kind of comfortably sits in the middle.”

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