Prepaid gift card sales can tell us a lot about the future.

We believe spas and salons will rebound fastest from the devastating financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on gift card sales from 4,000+ businesses listed on the Nift Store this month, beauty and spa businesses accounted for the largest percentage of gift card sales (41%) compared with sit down restaurants (3.6%) and casual eateries (9.5%).

“At a time when we’re all seeing ourselves on Zoom calls and Google Hangouts, it’s not really surprising that people are buying gift cards to go back to barber shops and salons as soon as it’s safe to do so.” says Elery Pfeffer, Founder and CEO of Nift. “What is surprising is the incredible amount they spend and the speed at which people are buying prepaid gift cards to fundraise for their favorite hairdressers. We saw one salon raise $4k in less than 4 hours with a single email to their customers.” 

Prepaid gift card purchases in the beauty and spa category averaged $107 each, which is nearly double the average for casual eateries ($56). The only category with higher average gift card values was massage therapy ($138), suggesting people are looking forward to a good back rub twice as much as a good drink or a night on the town, both of which averaged $65 per gift card. The active life category, which includes gyms, boxing studios, yoga and personal training, came in second in overall gift card sales (19.5%) with an average gift card value of $98, again pointing to a trend of future investments in businesses that help folks look good and feel great. 

Nift launched the Nift Store ( in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the goal of helping salons, gyms, shops and restaurants fundraise during these uncertain times free of charge. 100% of the proceeds of all gift card sales go directly to support neighborhood businesses and their employees, with funds sent by check or direct deposit as soon as gift cards are purchased. 

The Nift Store is open to any business, even those not currently on the Nift platform—free of charge. To learn more, visit