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Shoppers’ seasonal habits signal a shift to superior gifting


Hammerson, the UK’s leading retail property specialist has seen a distinct spending pattern emerge in the run up to Christmas with consumers splashing out on indulgent and higher priced presents in favour of volume gifting.

All that glitters is sold

Luxury watches and diamond jewellery will have pride of place under a lucky number of households’ Christmas trees this year as shoppers look to invest in luxury presents.  Centrale in Croydon and Bullring in Birmingham have seen strong demand for high end time-pieces with Rolex standing out as the brand of choice for shoppers. While at Dundrum in Dublin, shoppers have treated themselves to arm candy from fashion designers including Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs. At The Oracle in Reading, sparkling best sellers have been premium carat single diamonds, with increased demand for exclusive diamond jewellery sets.

Baby its Cold Outside

The recent cold snap has focussed shoppers on upgrading their winter wardrobes, with Christmas classics such as cashmere jumpers and gift sets remaining hot favourites. Technical outerwear brands have proved to be top performers, with Union Square in Aberdeen selling out of The North Face Thermoball jackets, and at Highcross in Leicester, consumers have been treating loved ones to Timberland’s premium coat collection. For the fashion forward shopper, faux fur jackets have been flying off the shelves, with Silverburn in Glasgow and Brent Cross in London seeing a surge in demand for these opulent winter warmers.


Family Fun

Plenty of fun is on the cards for Christmas Day this year, with toys and games, and sport and outdoors, amongst the best performing categories in the run up to Christmas. Sales of retro games have been strong at Highcross in Leicester with board game compendium sets selling especially well, and in Scotland, the Luvabella Doll (rrp £99) has already sold out in Union Square in Aberdeen.  By contrast, in the Capital, parents are treating children to gadgets with a generous price tag, with Cozmo the robot (rrp £160) proving a smash hit at Brent Cross and the Star Wars BB8 Droid (rrp £130) topping Christmas lists at Centrale in Croydon.

Shop and Stop

The annual festive coffee is keeping consumers going while they tick off items on Christmas lists with the Billionaire Latte and Black Forest Hot Chocolate being Birmingham’s festive cuppa’s of choice. Alongside the need to refuel, the latest instalment of Star Wars, The Last Jedi has seen a high turnout of cinema goers over the launch weekend with midnight viewings at Westquay in Southampton popular for the latest box office smash hit.

Commenting on the recent Christmas trading, Mark Bourgeois, Hammerson Managing Director UK & Ireland, said: “It is encouraging to see an upbeat attitude towards spending on gifts during the all-important festive trading period.  We have seen that shoppers are prepared to loosen their purse strings for the right products, be that fashion, toys or jewellery.  It seems there has been a marked change in consumer mind set especially towards jewellery and luxury watches, not solely representing a very special Christmas gift for loved ones, but also purchased as investment pieces.”