From Buddhist zen to virtual reality: What’s hot for Christmas in retail in 2015

From Buddhist zen to virtual reality: What's hot for Christmas in retail in 2015

 

For the past eight years I have written a “pre-Christmas, Christmas wish list”. It’s not my own Christmas wish list. It’s my predictions for the things I believe shoppers will put on their Christmas wish list to buy for themselves, wish to have gifted to someone else or wish to be gifted to them. And each year I wish that it proves accurate when reviewed the second week of January after the New Year sales.

 So here it is for Christmas 2015. My top eight wish list.

1.     Orange

Every category I walk in retail, or shop online, has orange as a key colour field. Not sure whether it’s because this colour, which represents “calm strength,” is in step with our world psyche or just that we all need a little bit of Buddhist calm in our lives. No matter, it’s evident in every luxury department store holiday window display, grocery store, fashion outlet and online site. “Om mani padme hum”.

2.     Choice

Unprecedented choice: Choice of size, colour, price, delivery, time of day. Handmade, super shiny new technology or second hand/pre-owned/recycled. There is no judgment in gifts or gifting in 2015.

3.     Lower price

If it isn’t cheaper it’s no more expensive.  Even if it has more features, the quality is better or you can buy more for the same. Price is good. Enjoy it, because this is the last Christmas where prices are good. 2016 will see prices rise all around the world as cheap money becomes less cheap. 

4.     An Apple

God love ’em. This will be the 14th consecutive holiday season that an Apple product has been a top 10 seller at Christmas. Two months ago a technology journalist attending a Silicon Valley CEO forum joked that the only person wearing an Apple Watch was Apple CEO Tim Cook. Hold onto your hats. Christmas will see them strapped to Christmas trees and then wrists in their millions. 

5.     Two wheels

Powered by your feet, legs, an electric motor or the internal combustion engine. In the 12 months since last Christmas Eve, another 36 million inhabitants of our planet will have given up a life in the country to begin a new life living in our cities. There is no way our cities can absorb too many more wheels. So to twist the words of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Two wheels are better than four.”

6.     Half a dozen GoPros

I predicted that 2014 would be last year that GoPro would make the top 10.  So did the share market. We were both wrong. The innovation has not been around the camera or the accessories, but around the 360 Virtual Reality editing software. Expect to see clusters of six or seven GoPro cameras perched on top of a 360 array attached to surf boards, ocean skis, snow skis, motor cycles or poking up from the floor in the middle of your Christmas wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Virtual reality just went mainstream. Be careful what you film.

7.     A cruise

Try to resist it if you can but a cruise ship, or fleet of cruise ships, is coming to a port near you.  For yourself or as a gift, it is the travel boom that just keeps booming. Smaller cruise ships will find their way up a river or onto a lake near you as the year progresses.

8.     Someone else’s spare room

To update Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) song

“Travel.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle.

For the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in an Airbnb spare room in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in an Airbnb spare room in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft.” 

Happy shopping.

Kevin A Moore is a retail expert and the chairman of Crossmark Asia Pacific Holdings and Mirador Retail Technology. He is also the founder of TheRoadToRetail.

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