A bit more on gift cards as excellent gifts... from the perspective of retailers:
Wasted coupons will be chalked up as the shops' own Christmas present. One US chain, consumer electronics company Best Buy, this year booked a profit of $19m (£9.5m) from unclaimed gift cards.Not too shabby....
Retailers also gain from tokens that are cashed in, as customers top them up by an average 40% of their face value.
Spending is even larger on coupons given to staff by companies as an incentive. At electrical stores, the average employee voucher is put towards a widescreen television.
Since an average of six weeks pass before a voucher is redeemed, it serves the the retailer as an interest-free loan.