Gift card concerns

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Gift cards have always been something you don't think twice about giving, so you don't have to think about what to give. Not this year. Many consumers share the concern of Janet Ash. "In our economy today I think it's a little shaky. Some of the companies that do sell the gift cards may not be very stable financially and if you give a gift card from them and their business closes down, then what?"

Hastings knows the concern. So in the last corporate meeting managers got this directive. "They just keep telling us. Push gift cards. Push gift cards. Push gift cards, " said Hastings assistant manager Tim Benoit. Companies showing profits still suffer the consequences when other retail stores go out of business. Strong businesses are now attempting to boost consumer's confidence. Benoit said, "It's very obvious that people are struggling with that, but in all meetings we've had our director of operations just said that we are perfectly fine. These gift cards are strong."

If the economy isn't enough to hurt gift card sales, there are the crooks. Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott posted a consumer alert advising precautions against fraud. Benoit picks up a card and points to the foil strip on the bad explaining, "If they have that number hidden behind that foil then all they have to do is sit back and wait and open somebody buys that card. If that is scratched off we will not sell that card. Simple as that."

Despite the fraud and economy, consumer analysts say almost 50% of consumers will still be buying & receiving gift cards.