Gift card market booming after tax-free limits revised up

Corporate purchases up 102% at Liffey Valley in 2016, though average value only €54.49

Michael Noonan: The Minister for Finance increased the value of tax-free gift cards from €250 to €500 in October’s budget. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Michael Noonan: The Minister for Finance increased the value of tax-free gift cards from €250 to €500 in October’s budget. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Sales of gift cards continue to grow following the decision by the Minister for Finance last October to increase the value of tax-free cards from €250 to €500.

A study by Savills Property Management has shown that 125,000 gift cards were sold during 2016 at three shopping centres it manages: Liffey Valley in west Dublin, Whitewater in Newbridge, and Mahon Point in Cork.

Gift cards sales to corporate purchasers were 102 per cent higher at Liffey Valley in 2016, though the average card value was surprisingly low at €54.49. General sales of the cards were 13 per cent higher at Liffey Valley, while Whitewater saw a 9 per cent increase on 2015 and Mahon Point recorded a 1 per cent increase.

Roy Dellar of Property Management said gift cards or vouchers have always been popular among Irish consumers. The introduction of the new tax-free limits, combined with the recovering consumer economy, have pushed demand to a new level, particularly among corporate. Mr Dellar expects this trend to continue.

Meanwhile, Retail Excellence Ireland estimated that the gift card market is now worth some €600 million per annum.