The History of Gift Cards

Remember Blockbuster Video? That blue and yellow decor, its well-lit aisles of videos, DVD's and games that stretched throughout the store? Before Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and all the others, Blockbuster Video ruled as a rental titan for 35 years. Now only two things remain from its legacy: an AirBNB in Bend, Oregon you can rent for $4 a night and gift cards. That's right ... you can thank Blockbuster for gift cards.

gift card

The company can't be credited with its invention. Neiman Marcus did that in 1994, but the retailer didn't display or advertise the option, according to the Smithsonian magazine. Blockbuster, frustrated by fraud versions of its paper gift certificate, first actively showed those plastic gift cards in its stores.

Starbucks continued refining gift cards and, in 2001, offered new ones that worked more than once in its store, which made up 41.4% of its 2019 business.

Gift cards are still big business - unused ones alone generate $3 billion, according to CBS.com, out of the $98.6 billion purchased in 2019. The item allows the recipient the freedom to buy what they want and avoid those gigantic return lines on December 26th. So, go on enjoy those gift cards ... and say thank you to Blockbuster when you use them.

Fabrics and Home offers gift cards, too! Get 10% OFF in December. Code: Gift10gift cards from Fabrics and Home

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