According to an article from ICSC, a recent survey by Archstone Consulting reports that US consumers will be spending less on gift cards this holiday season. I think we’re going to see that it’s more about “need” than “want” this year. More and more people will be using their gift cards to purchase necessities—groceries, food, gas—rather than luxury items. As a result, mass merchants like discount department stores, supermarkets/grocery stores and drug stores will receive the lion share of gift card sales. Prepaid bank cards will also remain a popular request. They can be spent anywhere on anything. What about restaurants? In general, we expect to see restaurant sales tumble in this tough economy. People are eating out less as they try to save money. However, the survey found that restaurant categories, including fast food, will see the highest increase—30 percent—over last year. At a time when eating out seems like a luxury, this may be the most coveted gift of all, this season.