When you can't figure out what to get a friend or family member for a birthday, Christmas, or even as a thank-you, gift cards are often the last resort. But, for a growing number of people, gift cards are now the first choice.
Count me among that number. Gift cards are such an easy solution; I don't have to browse, compare, evaluate, or otherwise allocate any significant quantity of valuable intellectual resources (at least, I hope my intellectual resources are of some value). Last year, I got cards from retailers such as Home Depot
Which brings me to a press release I noticed regarding Yum! Brands'
The press release also mentions Pizza Hut's participation in the trend of making cards available at non-Pizza Hut locations. In this case, you can pick up them up at some Walgreen's locales. This wider distribution scenario is a wonderful way of expanding awareness of the brand. Overall, promoting this initiative aggressively should increase traffic and sales, and it is an interesting way for the company to differentiate itself from delivery rival Domino's; according to the company's website, the pizza delivery chain offers gift certificates as opposed to stored-value cards, as one would expect. Over time, that difference might offer an incremental advantage for the Hut.
Want some more toppings with this Take? Try the following:
Do you like gift cards, or do you think they are too impersonal? Do you think the use of gift cards is a valuable budgeting tool, or am I an idiot for wanting to store money on a card instead of in a money market account at a bank? Share your thoughts on the Yum! Brands discussion board.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. He also can't wait for a reloadable McDonald's card.