Gift wrapping hasn't exactly gone the way of dinosaurs just yet. There are still stores that offer the service in one form or another, but the days when most stores routinely offered courtesy gift wrapping seem to be over. Millennials, in particular, are typically more accustomed to using gift bags, and a lot of consumers have different gift-giving habits than what was popular in the past. There are just some of the reasons why gift wrapping as a courtesy service is less common.


Cutting Costs

One of the top reasons for the decrease in gift wrapping services is because of cost. Many department stores are struggling to compete with big, "everything to everyone" chain stores and online retailers. The cost of gift wrapping services used to be passed along to the customers, who largely didn't mind. But now it doesn't make sense for department stores to invest in a service that's going to keep them from cutting costs to compete.


Changing Customer Tastes

Another reason for the disappearance of gift wrapping services is because customer tastes and behaviors have changed. It was once concerned good gift-giving manners to present a gift in a fancy wrapping paper with pretty ribbons and bows. These days, many consumers view excessive wrapping paper that will likely be discarded as a waste at a time when environmental concerns often play a role in decisions people make. Additionally, consumers tend to give gifts more casually today. Sure, giving gifts still makes people feel good, but givers don't typically see the need to go all out with presentation.


What Shoppers Can Expect Today

Some upscale retailers still offer gift wrapping for free, while others offer it for a fee. But don't expect lots of paper and pretty bows. What most stores offer today are boxes, some of which have some added pizazz. Online retailers like Amazon offer gift wrapping in the form of gift wrap, boxes, or bags appropriate for the item. Such services are typically available for a fee that will be added to your purchase total at checkout. Other stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, use their gift wrapping to promote their brand with either their store name on it or their company colors on the boxes, bags, or wrapping paper.


Not thrilled about giving gifts with branded wrapping paper? You can always turn gift wrapping into a fun project in your own home. Buy wrapping paper in the colors and styles you prefer and find an appropriately sized box. All you'll need is some basic supplies and you'll be all set. It's definitely a great way to add a personal touch to your gifts.

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