Enter now or miss – that’s the message from retailers.
Festive wrapping paper sells well. That, says Jonathan Waecker, is the surest sign that the silly season is already upon us. It may be starting sooner than ever. “We’ve already seen Kiwis start Christmas shopping with customers… buying gift wrap earlier than in previous years,” confirms The Warehouse’s customer manager.
That’s right: it’s only October, but Christmas trees are coming up, gifts are wrapped, and depending on where you live, Mariah Carey is coming to an (online) mall near you soon. . Nine weeks, less than 60 days: that’s the time you have until December 25. If the last two months go well, that time will pass in a blur of delta stress, snacks, 1pm briefings and a few silly little strolls.
It won’t work when Santa Claus is supposed to come to town. Global supply chains are blocked. Ships full of stuff are stranded at sea, unable to dock. Who would have imagined that last year’s shipping issues would affect us again 12 months later. The result ? Stores already display “sold out” signs on some items. By December, it is likely that many of the most popular products will already be gone. If you save your Christmas shopping until then, it will probably be too late.
“October is the new December” is Jo McColl’s message. “You can see it,” says the owner of Wellington’s Unity Books. “People are starting to send quite varied lists of things. McColl suspects most of it is Christmas shopping. She sent her daughter to make deliveries because couriers can’t keep up. What is hot? Colm Tóibín’s new Ottolenghi cookbook and The Magician are up there, as is Frida Kahlo: The Complete Paintings table book (at $ 395, it’s a gift for someone you really like) and Sally Rooney’s new track Beautiful World, Where Are You.
Supply issues also plague toy buyers. “There’s going to be a shortage of toy products this silly season,” Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester said. She predicts that the most popular stocking fillers will be animal-based: Zuru’s Rainbocorn, a toy animal that comes with a “magic poo that changes color,” Poppy the booty-shaking pug and Burping Bobby, a game. of society. Play Doh’s DIY dentistry kit, nicknamed “Drill N Fill”, is also expected to be in high demand.
Toys on the theme of movies and books are also in the process of being salvaged. A fire truck from the movie Paw Patrol, the Harry Potter version of Pictionary, and an animatronic Baby Yoda, who “acts like a real baby” while breathing and sleeping, are proving to be popular. For those, Silvester advises: “Get in quickly or risk missing out.”
Adults want their toys too, and Trade Me has recently seen a huge research demand for Apple products, including AirPods and watches, perhaps inspired by Apple which recently announced new versions of both tech gadgets. The HomePod Mini, previously unavailable in New Zealand, is also likely to be bulky. Shortages are predicted for other tech toys, including the GoCube, an app-based version of the Rubik’s Cube that teaches users how to solve it on their own.
But by far the most popular items are slot machines. Trade Me searches for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles over the past seven days have increased, with 17,000 searches for the Playstation 5 alone. Playstation released their latest offerings last year, and it continues. Scalpers use robots to catch them when they arrive in stock, and then they are re-listed on Trade Me. Some cost $ 1,500, almost double the original price.
If that’s not your thing, Waecker, of The Warehouse, says there’s a trend towards more tangible items as well. He predicts that craft kits will be popular giveaways this year, as well as old-fashioned giveaways – board games, puzzles, outdoor gear, as well as Lego sets and Barbie dolls. Scooters, bikes, and trampolines are also set to become big sellers.
After the year we’ve had, with everyone stuck at home during shutdowns with far too much free time, there is another option for those who want to bypass global supply chain issues: a DIY Christmas. . Skip the online shops, pull out the box and make your own gifts: design your own Christmas cards, then create personalized vouchers: perhaps a foot massage or a homemade dinner of the recipient’s choice. Retailers might not like you, but it’s a gift that can’t sell.
Subscribe to Rec Room, a weekly newsletter bringing the latest videos, podcasts, and other recommendations from The Spinoff straight to your inbox.