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Amazon recalls gift cards from New York retailers: report

Amazon recalls gift cards from New York retailers: report

Amazon has reportedly pulled its popular gift cards from many New York retailers, leaving both shoppers and retailers in the dark about the sudden move.

The gift cards recently disappeared from shelves at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walgreens, CVS and Wegmans, Buffalo-based NBC affiliate 2 On Your Side reported Friday.

Amazon declined to comment on the gift card mystery when The Post reached out to the company on Wednesday.

Amazon has reportedly revoked its gift cards at several retailers in New York. Gado via Getty Images
Amazon has neither confirmed nor denied whether it has removed its gift cards from stores. Christopher Sadowski

The spokesperson noted that the e-commerce giant occasionally experiments with gift card purchasing methods and that gift cards are always available on Amazon’s website.

While it’s not new for retailers to pull gift cards from their shelves, it is new to do so without any explanation, Charles Lindsey, a business professor at the University at Buffalo, told the Buffalo TV station.

“Normally there is transparency about the issuing of gift cards,” Lindsey said.

According to Lindsey, gift cards are typically revoked for one of four reasons: a problem with gift card scams or a batch of incorrect activation codes, to free up space for a new gift card promotion, a change in gift card regulations, or an A/B test to measure the sales performance of the cards.

Some retailers have confirmed that gift cards are being withdrawn en masse.

A Wegmans spokesperson told the Post that Amazon has removed the gift cards from all of its New York state locations.

A spokesperson for Tops Friendly Markets, a chain with locations in New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania, told the NBC affiliate that Amazon gift cards have been pulled from its stores in New York state.

Wegmans confirmed to the Post that Amazon has removed the gift cards from all of its New York state locations. Getty Images

CVS directed The Post to contact Amazon, but Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Walgreens did not respond to requests for comment.

Workers at Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores in Western New York told 2 On Your Side that Amazon representatives or employees from Amazon’s vending machine company visited their stores two weeks ago to remove gift cards from the shelves.

Lindsey suspects that Amazon is pulling gift cards from stores to test whether they are profitable enough, since retailers get a percentage of all gift card purchases.

CVS directed The Post to contact Amazon about the gift cards. Tamara Beckwith

“It’s a small percentage, but they get a percentage of that cargo,” Lindsey said.

The business professor said Amazon will “make sure the dust settles at the end of the day” and will have to ask itself whether it is really “better off” in terms of revenue and profits, especially since Amazon sells gift cards through its own site and can avoid passing on a portion of the purchase to brick-and-mortar retailers.