Retailers may help savers hit by the collapse of the Swindon-based hamper company, Farepak.
Farepak is in the hands of administrators
Consumer minister Ian McCartney has met the British Retail Consortium (BRC) over proposals for a goodwill scheme for customers who have lost out.
No details were immediately available of the scheme.
About 150,000 customers had paid money monthly to Farepak or its agents for Christmas hampers or vouchers. Farepak went into administration on 13 October.
'Keen to help'
The minister said the scheme must be "simple, not derisory, fraud free, easy to administer at store level and have as much choice as possible".
"This will not be a compensation package and members of the BRC are under no legal obligation to provide any help," he said.
"But they have had a lot of interest from many large retailers, who are keen to try and do something."
BRC spokesman Richard Dodd added: "This is purely a goodwill gesture.
"The fact that Farepak has gone bust is nothing to do with other retailers, so they are not under any obligation to step in."
The BRC will now be contacting its members so they can decide what they might be able to provide.