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Washington Post: Pocketful of plastic a hot holiday item

Dina ElBoghdady reports on retailers’ interest in gift cards.

“Retailers are itching to see what happens with all the gift certificates out there,” said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of consumer research firm America’s Research Group. “There are literally billions of dollars at stake.”

Just how many billions is unclear. Many retailers declined to discuss numbers. But consulting firm Bain & Co. estimates that sales of gift cards could hit a record $38 billion for the year, up 15 to 20 percent from 2001.

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