Starbucks Corp. said it expects a record number of gift card purchases on Dec. 24 based on the consumer tendency to buy last-minute gift cards and last year's results. In 2014, nearly 2.5 million gift cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on Christmas Eve, about 1,700 per minute, the company said. That amounts to one in seven Americans getting a Starbucks Card for the holidays. Between Oct. 2014 and Sept. 2015, $5.1 billion was loaded onto Starbucks Cards in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company, and $1.6 billion was loaded onto cards in the three months between Oct. 2014 and Dec. 2014. Starbucks said more than one-third of all transactions in the U.S. and Canada take place using a Starbucks Card. Starbucks shares, which were up 0.6% in premarket trade Tuesday, are up 45.1% for the year so far while the S&P is down 1.8% for the same period.
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