This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Company Gifts Still More Scrooge Than Santa

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- 'Tis the season for fruit baskets, cheese trays and logo-emblazoned tchotchkes.

A bellwether of the economy comes each holiday season when companies decide how much they allocate to gifts for clients, vendors prospects and employees. Holiday parties, bonuses and other seasonal boosts to worker morale are also part of the end-of-year spending plan.

Is Scrooge back on the sidelines? Not just yet, perhaps.

Fruit
Corporate gifts are becoming more creative and expensive than the usual fruit basket, experts say, but haven't returned to numbers seen before the recession.

A recent survey of its membership by the Advertising Specialty Institute, which represents 26,000 sellers and suppliers, found that nearly six out of 10 respondents said they plan to spend about the same as last year on corporate gifts for employees and prospects or clients. Nearly one-third (31%) plan to spend less, and only 12% plan to spend more, a net decrease.

Small-business owners have their own outlook on gifting.

Research by American Express (AXP) found that 44% of small-business owners will be giving their customers gifts this holiday season, down 3% from last year. The mean price of customer holiday gifts, however, is $740, up from $455 last year.

"It is undeniably a really challenging time still for a lot of companies," says Alice Bredin, small-business adviser to American Express OPEN. "Business owners feel this year, maybe more than in other years, the importance of thanking customers and making sure they really feel appreciated. This is not a time where anyone wants to lose a customer, and the competition is really fierce for all those buyers out there. So if you have a customer, you want to make sure you are really thanking them."

"In small companies, business owners really do understand the value that each and every customer brings to their success," she adds. "Thanking those customers is something that has always been really important to them."

Overall, gourmet foods and wine continue to represent about a third of the business gift market. According to market research firm Packaged Facts, about $2.7 billion worth of food was presented as corporate gifts last year, a 3.8% increase from 2007.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs