Christmas 2015: The big sellers
With Christmas fast approaching, the UK's high streets are starting to get busier. Shoppers are whipping themselves into panicked frenzies as they look for the best gifts at the best prices for the best people in their lives.
As is the case every year, there will be some things that sell particularly well this Christmas - items that fly off the shelves faster than Usain Bolt on the back of a particularly athletic cheetah. By knowing what's going to be popular, retailers can stock up and prepare. With that in mind, let's take a look into the crystal ball!
Let's be honest, Christmas is enjoyed by children more than anyone else, and this is no doubt down to the huge range of amazing toys on offer. Walk around any shop's kids' section and you'll hear fully grown adults muttering "...wish they did those when I was little."
This year, expect Frozen-related items to be big. As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past year will know, the movie was huge, and its merchandise has been everywhere. Skate & Sing Elsa - a £40 remote control model of the film's star character - is set to be a sell-out this Christmas, with fans everywhere nagging their parents for one.
Other big sellers will include Minions Tumbling Stuart, and Real FX, an Artificial intelligence-driven car-racing game; Scalextric for the digital generation, if you like.
It could be argued that gadgets are essentially toys for adults, albeit just a little bit (read: considerably) more expensive. The speed at which technology moves these days is astounding, and just means that everyone's ready for an upgrade of some kind by the time Christmas rolls around.
This is especially true when it comes to smartphones, and with the iPhone 6S having launched just a couple of months ago, it's primed to be a major seller. The love for Apple doesn't stop there, though. The company's much-hyped Apple Watch has been out for long enough now for retailers to drop the price a little in the build-up to Christmas.
Talking of price-drops, both of the big games consoles have seen reductions in recent months, with Sony (PS4) and Microsoft (Xbox One) locking horns for a festive battle where consumers could bag themselves a bargain.
It's not all about toys and tech; you've also got fashion, films, music and books to consider.
Autobiography sales always peak at Christmas, for example, and this year's no different. Recent big releases include 'My Story', the imaginatively titled memoir collection of footballer Steven Gerrard, Tom Jones' 'Over the Top and Back', and 'Spectacles' by Sue Perkins.
The days of buying Michael Buble's latest collection of Christmas covers on CD might be numbered, but that's not to say people won't be giving the gift of music this year. Instead, it'll likely come in the form of Spotify Premium vouchers or iTunes gift cards. These can still be sold by traditional retailers, though. The same goes for Netflix and LoveFilm subscription packages.
Last but not least, expect the food aisles of your local supermarket to be emptied pretty sharpish this festive season. That's normal, though, isn't it?
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