Gift Cards Are an Untapped Opportunity for Local Businesses [Entrepreneur Magazine]

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Have you ever seen one of those gift card displays in your local chain drugstore or grocery? Notice who they’re for? Other national brands! It’s one of many examples that show how the “cards” have been stacked, both online and offline, against true local merchants in favor of national retailers.

Local businesses have spent years trying to even the odds through various digital promotions like Groupon and LivingSocial. But those services over-extended themselves, forcing cutbacks on their local outreach efforts. Consumers, meanwhile, grew wary of being forced to make purchasing decisions over short time periods...