Christmas sales will be dominated by more affordable tablets and smartphones, digital toys and niche homeware items.
That’s the prediction of Pick n Pay’s Mark Wood, who heads the retailer’s generation merchandise buying division.
Wood says a new market is gaining access to technology products for the first time.
“Prices for smart phones and tablets have come down dramatically over the past year, with the result that the category has become much more accessible to the mass market,” says Wood.
“People can now buy a 3G and Wi-Fi tablet for under R1 000, where just last year it was very difficult to offer even a Wi-Fi tablet for under R 1 500,” he says.
Although well-known brands such Apple and Samsung will continue to be strong sellers, there is a strong move to other brands like Hisense, because of their relative affordability.
When it comes to toys, technology is also taking over. “Similar to last year, we are expecting sales of traditional toys to be flat this year as children migrate towards digital and technology products.”
But navigation, photographic and gaming products are likely to feel the pinch as consumers spend on other technology categories. “The decline in these categories is compounding at faster rate this year and we are definitely phasing these categories out in favour of smart gadgets,” says Wood.
Another notable trend is the emergence of speciality coffee and related equipment. High-end coffee makers are likely to be a hot seller this festive season, Pick n Pay says.
Many retailers, including Pick n Pay, are looking at developing their own private brand of coffee machines and pods, says Wood. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media