Gift card and voucher sales in the first quarter of the year grew by 15.6% over the same period in 2010.
The figure, released in a new report from The UK Gift Card & Voucher Association, is the market’s highest-ever year-on-year increase in sales.
Much of the growth came from business-to-business sales, up 22.8% compared with just 2.7% last year. Online sales for this sector increased by 163% while paper vouchers were up 14% on the first quarter in 2010. Consumer sales of gift cards and vouchers saw a 5.8% increase.
Andrew Johnson, director general of The UKGCVA, described the sales figures as “extremely positive”.
He said: “The significant increase from the B2B sector reflects the dynamic approach businesses are taking to incentivise and motivate staff. In the consumer market, vouchers and gift cards provide the ideal gifting solution and despite negative general retail sales, it’s encouraging to see this increase in gift card and voucher sales across the consumer sector which we hope will continue into Q2.”