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Starbucks projects $3bn gift card sales over the festive period

The Seattle-based coffee chain projects nearly $3bn will be loaded on to its Starbucks Cards in North America between October and December this year

Starbucks sold 46 million physical and digital gift cards over the festive period in 2020 | Photo credit: Starbucks Coffee Company 

Starbucks is hoping to achieve another record year of sales for its Starbucks Cards gift programme during the festive period.
The coffee chain is projecting that nearly $3bn will be loaded on the cards in the US and Canada between October and December 2021, with 23 December anticipated to be the busiest day for card purchases.
In 2020, more than 46 million physical and digital Starbucks Cards were purchased over the festive period, with the coffee chain saying it was “on track” for another record year of sales.

“For more than 20 years, Starbucks Cards have made the perfect gift for loved ones during the holiday season, and we’re on track for another record performance of Starbucks Card sales. We are predicting that December 23 will be our busiest day of the year for Starbucks Card sales as customers finalise their holiday gifting,” said Starbucks Chief Marketing Officer Brady Brewer.

The coffee chain also highlighted data from the National Retail Federation, which indicates 46% of US consumers intend to purchase gift cards during the festive season, with total gift card sales expected to reach $28.1bn.

Starbucks introduced the most recent version of its gift cards in 2001 but has offered a gift card programme since 1994. The coffee chain was among the first major US retailers to introduce a reloadable gift card, with nearly 200,000 sold in the first week of sales in 2001.

Since then, the number of Starbucks Cards sold over the festive period has steadily sharply, with two million sold in 2012, growing to nearly 2.5 million in 2014 before reaching record levels of 46 million in 2020. 

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