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On the way to a party, you stop at your local supermarket to purchase a gift card from one of those racks displaying dozens of choices from a variety of merchants. But now you need something to “package” the gift card. After all, just dropping it into a plain envelope is kind of tacky. Fortunately, the solution is right there on the rack: A GiftCard Bäks (pronounced “box”).

Box makes gift-giving easy
Manufactured by Salt Lake City, UT-based Bäks Co. LLC, the GiftCard Bäks is an easily assembled, setup box that comes complete with a silver, slanted gift-card holder; a self-forming, white-satin pull bow and To/From gift tag. The initially-flat box uses origami hinges, a locking flap and two small embedded-magnet closures to quickly form into a rigid, keepsake package that can just as quickly be folded again and reused. Three box sizes are available, priced at $2.99-$4.99. Measuring 4x4x2 in., the middle-sized box retails for $3.99.

Giftcard Bäks was first introduced at Associated Foods Stores Inc., a Salt Lake City-headquartered supermarket chain with 505 retail members in eight intermountain Western states. The 133 stores in rural to metropolitan locations that display Blackhawk Gift Card Malls began adding Giftcard Bäks to the pegboard racks in July 2010.

“We sell our own in-store gift cards on the racks as well,” says Janelle Waters, Associated Foods Stores director of corporate programs. “You can put the whole package together, and you’re complete when you walk out of the store and can give it as a gift immediately.”

Associated Foods Stores currently carries five GiftCard Bäks SKUs: two solid colors, two prints (for anniversary/graduation/weddings) and a birthday design. It will carry five additional SKUs for the Christmas holiday season.

Because the package has so recently been put on the market, it’s difficult for Waters to give sales results. “My anticipation is that it will be a great experience,” she says. “To get the full impact of what it’s going to do really won’t be told until probably January. The Christmas holidays are the height of the gift-card season. The 80/20 rule certainly applies for gift cards around the holidays.”

Gift cards a $17 billion market
Founded in 1999 as a “social expressions” sourcing firm in Hong Kong, the Bäks Co. now manufactures boxes, greeting and all occasion cards, bags, wraps, tissue, tags and stickers, ribbons and bows, and the patented, original design Bäks. Its research revealed a $17-billion U.S. market for gift cards in 2009 as well as upwards of 300,000 gift-card malls in stores nationwide. The most preferred packaging for a gift card is a box, and specifically a box with a ribbon.

“A survey done in gift-card packaging showed that for everyone who buys a gift card, up to 40 percent also buy a package to go with it,” says Michael S. Nebeker, Bäks Co. v.p. of sales and marketing. “There’s nothing else like the GiftCard Bäks on the market.”

Converted at Bäks Co.’s factory in southern China, the packaging is made from 100-percent recycled chipboard with a proprietary amount of post-consumer recycled material. Four- to six-color offset printing decorates the paper which, after being automatically coated with pressure-sensitive adhesive, is painstakingly hand-wrapped around the chipboard components to form the container.

“It takes incredible patience by our staff for the handmade construction,” says Bäks Co. president T. Cody Hughes. “There’s no tolerance in this box for mistakes. Our holiday designs will have hot-foil stamping and glitter; we’re working on adding embossing.” The converter also makes a larger lingerie and dress-shirt Bäks, each packaged with tissue paper, a pull bow and decorative elastic cord.

The GiftCard Bäks’s packaging itself includes an offset-printed sleeve with instructions for how to assemble the box and bow that, along with the product, then goes into a clear polypropylene-film bag.
Global green concern

Bäks Co. says that it demonstrates its environmental concern through the gift-card box’s recycled content, reusability and shipping efficiency. “With the smallest, flat GiftCard Bäks, we can fit twice as many into a 40-ft [overseas] shipping container than if we were shipping the same size box upright,” explained Nebeker. “As the box increases in size, so does the efficiency of shipping flat—up to 10 times more boxes shipping flat, as opposed to shipping air.”

Of course, the Bäks is not alone in the gift-card packaging market. For example, competitors are making slotted greeting cards to hold gift cards.

“There are other companies out there that provide a gift box or metal tin or different things,” says Waters, “but nothing in my opinion that speaks to the experience that this will give the [customer] in that whole purchase opportunity.”


MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE:

Associated Foods Stores Inc.
, 801/973-4400. www.afstores.com
Blackhawk Network, 925/226-9990.www.blackhawknetwork.com/products/gifts

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