All I want for Christmas is…
If you’re still scratching your head over what to put under the tree for your loved one on this last shopping weekend before the big day, read on. Weekend Argus has taken a look at what’s flying off the shelves and at the most desirable gifts to give.
MIXER ETC say this year gadgets are at the top of the wish lists of those who made Father Christmas’s “nice” list, while more traditional gifts like Lego, Baby Born dolls, cuddly toys and car sets are still proving popular for younger children.
Massdiscounters spokeswoman Shelley Kreinacke said the retailer, which owns Game and Dionwired stores, expected top gifts for adults to be tablets, cameras, laptops, smartphones, treadmills and sewing machines. Big sellers for kids are expected to be Nintendo Wii consoles, Playstation 3, trampolines, bicycles and scooters.
“We expect consumers to once again spoil themselves over the festive season, although our sense is that they will be somewhat more cautious and pragmatic in their spending patterns. While there are some signs of consumer confidence returning, the market remains fragile,” Kreinacke said.
“As was the case last year, we expect many consumers to replace extravagant purchases with more practical purchases focused on their kids and homes. Many consumers will travel less this year and that means they will spend more time at home entertaining and we expect a strong performance in the related categories.”
Toys R Us South Africa and Reggies CEO Issy Zimmerman said Chatimals, cuddly toys which mimic what you say and chat back, were proving to be popular choices. They sold more than 10 000 units within four weeks of being launched locally.
Hot gifts for girls included the Baby Born doll, a swimming doll and a vanity table with remote control. For boys, the Crazy Cars Demolition set, Carrera Go Champions, remote-control hovercraft and the Fastlane monster truck were top of the list. Playstation games PS3 Battlefield 3 and Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Starter Pack were also favourites.
Zimmerman recommended over a dozen gifts under R100, including toy trucks and bulldozers, kitchen sets, the Steffi family and a mega art set.
“We are offering our customers an affordable range of quality products that are sure to bring loads of smiles this coming holiday season,” Zimmerman said.
The Toy Shop manager at The Pavilion Shopping Centre in Kwazulu- Natal, Pat Mccallum, said the Leapster Explorer Leap Pad with a camera and a recorder (R1 200) had proved to be popular but stocks were limited. Other big hits were remote-control cars and helicopters.
“We are selling plenty of Lego and a variety of smaller things this year, such as science sets, puzzles and arts and crafts,” Mccallum said.
Dionwired general manager Andrew Jackson said the store’s buyers had expected the top gifts for adults this year to be the Apple ipad, the iphone 4S, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone (R5 500) and the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone (R6 300).
Also popular is the Dstv Mobile Drifta (R600), which allows customers to watch Dstv on their smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Cape Union Mart marketing manager Nick Bennett said: “We’ve sold tons of gadgets and goodies – like Leatherman multitools, GPSES, knives, headlamps, K-way backpacks and Bear Grylls survival kits. Then there were tents, sleeping bags and trail shoes – all firm favourites as South Africa steams into summer. Our sell-outs include beach and braai gear, including the funky and original ‘torch tongs’ – braai tongs with a LED torch in the handle.”
The company’s Poetry brand, meanwhile, had seen shoppers “on the hunt for ‘ hard- to- find’ gifts that would make any recipient feel special”.
“Our bestsellers have been our colourful Turkish bowls; one-of-akind embellished aprons; our Poetry La Vie perfume; message mugs which can be customised, and distinctive silver jewellery.
“Many of our customers are choosing to tailor hampers and fill ceramic platters with a mixture of confectionery, bath and body products and scarves to delight even the fussiest receiver,” Bennett said.
If you’re looking for big-ticket items for the foodie in your life, Alison Dommisse, spokeswoman for online kitchen retailers Yuppiechef ( www. yuppiechef. co. za), recommends the space-age Bugatti kettle, made by the French supercar builders (R3 500), a Maxim The Glacier Ice Cream Maker (R5 995) and the Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer (R5 490), described as the “most coveted kitchen tool in the world”.
The website sells several other kitchen gadgets and items that would make perfect stocking stuffers.
Dommisse recommends the Victorinox paring knife (R70), the Mode Egg Cubes – a square spin on the traditional egg cup (R140 for two) – and the five-blade scissors (R120), which shred herbs effortlessly.
CAN’T BEAT IT: The Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer, above, has been described as the ‘most coveted kitchen tool in the world’.
ON THE BLOCK: Kevin Poulter and his sons, Daniel, 5, and Matthew, 7, construct detailed models with Lego, which remains a favourite gift.
COME OUT OF YOUR
SHELL: Square egg
cups above, and the space-age Bugatti kettle, below