Retaillers pick favourites

This Christmas shopping season, retailers across the country are poised to ring up record sales. The reasons–recently announced federal tax cuts, high levels of employment and sustained consumer confidence. The Retail Council of Canada expects seasonal sales will be three to four per cent higher than last year’s $32 billion.

The Council surveyed members across the country to find the most popular gift items for holiday 2000. Some of the results are entirely predictable. But others may give you an idea for the ‘hard to buy for’ person (or people) in your life.
Checking the list

  • Comfort is in. Think cozy slippers, warm fleece vests, silky loungewear and knitted sweaters.
  • For the cocooning-at-home crowd, popular choices include candles, decorative frames, luxury bath soaps, indoor fountains, garden statues and Egyptian bed linens.
  • Collectibles are hot. Plates, ornaments and figurines from Royal Doulton and Bradford Exchange remain popular choices, as are Peanuts collectibles and Beanie Babies.
  • Jim Carrey’s ‘Grinch’ movie will spur sales of Dr. Seuss plush characters and collectibles.
  • A number of gift stores pegg Snow Buddies figurines as big sellers.
  • Retro is cool. Among the top music picks is ‘1’- the greatest hits CD from the Beatles.
  • Anthology, the Fab Four’s autobiography, is also picked to click.
  • More contemporary books that will do well this season include the Harry Potter series and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, this year’s Booker Prize winner.
  • Brands are stars, especially with the younger crowd. Tommy Hilfiger pants and shirts, Nautica sportswear, Franco Sarto shoes, Marilyn Brooks fashions, Isotoner slippers, Wrangler jeans, Christian Dior shirts, Vivian Shyu ladies’ wear, Hush Puppies boots and Levi Strauss denim are among the most-cited brand names on the clothing and footwear lists.

Remember, these are the gift items retailers think will be popular this year. They have been wrong before, but gift certificates are a sure bet.