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Free department store gift wrapping services are a thing of the past as stores compete with each other to have the lowest prices. Today companies want to get as many customers into their store as possible and gift wrapping services are seen as time-consuming and resource-wasting. And if you want your gifts wrapped, they usually will have the store's branding all over the packaging. 

Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal talked with us about her latest article "Where Has All The Gift Wrapping Gone?

On why companies have stopped providing this service

So, what they did is pass a lot of the cost onto the customer. And so, a lot of what used to be free, you'd now pay for. And I think people are willing to pay for it because they want to make holiday shopping easier, right? The point of shopping online is that you can send something somewhere and not have to deal with it. And hopefully, you can send gifts that are wrapped and ready to go under the tree. And so, I think people are willing to pay for it, even when, in my opinion, gift wrapping has fallen way downhill. 

On what branded gift wrapping looks like:

What a lot of these brands have done is that they've turned it into a marketing opportunity, and so a lot of gift wrapping is branded. So it either is in the company colors or, in the case of Pottery Barn they have a sticker that they put on it that says "Pottery Barn". And I just wonder if everybody's Christmas trees are going to become these little, mini advertisements. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.


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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal