Blackhawk Network has launched a gift card program with grocery chain Albertsons that promises to give shoppers more options for “spring and summer holidays” such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Blackhawk said. The program focuses on category gift cards that run via the Visa payment network.
Grocery shoppers can buy gift cards for specific use in such retail categories as dining, amusement parks and other vacation activities, fuel purchases, movie tickets and rentals from DVD kiosks, fashion boutiques, home improvement goods and other areas. Consumers can load between $20 and $200 onto the cards.
Stores that operate under the umbrella of Alberstons include Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United, Carrs, Albertsons Market, ACME, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Star Market, Market Street, Haggen, Eagle, Amigos, Pak ‘n Save and Super Saver. In all, Albertsons has some 2,220 stores.
“Category cards offer the flexibility of a Visa gift card, with the personal touch of a retail gift card,” said David Tate, senior vice president of U.S. retail, Blackhawk Network. “It’s a great option for shoppers looking for a convenient, practical gift with a personal touch.” An example of that personal touch is this: Safeway stores in Northern California now offer a “Dining Everywhere Nor Cal” card.
The program launch comes as children of all ages start to fret over how to honor their parents on Mother’s Day—May 14—and Father’s Day—June 18. Flowers and golf gear still stand as popular traditional gifts, but Blackhawk Network’s research shows that 99 percent of shoppers buy gifts for those days and nearly 40 of those purchases are gift cards. Blackhawk and Albertsons are looking to increase that percentage this season.
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