While Christmas is almost upon us, there will be still be plenty of people finalising their gift lists over the next three shopping days. The Standard spoke to local business people to find out what their most popular items are and to give some last-minute ideas for shoppers.
“The range of toys available has grown,” owner Maree Sedgley said. “The diversity of television channels and the internet has broadened the awareness of different products that are out there for kids.” This year the big growth area is in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) toys. “STEAM educational toys, robotics and technology toys are popular. All the kids are loving the robotics being able to build things and code them and create their own inventions.”
Monopoly and Scrabble are making a comeback and Lego continues to be popular with Harry Potter-themed Lego this year’s most requested. For younger children, The Wiggles’ Emma Wiggle dancing doll is one of the store’s best sellers. The life-like Our Generation dolls are a hit with younger girls.
Warrnambool Breastfeeding Centre
Wooden toys are popular this year with Holdie House the most sought-after item. “It is made from sustainable wood, you can pick it up by its handles and take it where you need,” manager Barb Glare said. Iconic Toys Australian Icecreams and Arnott’s Shapes sets have been top sellers with parents wanting to share their childhood favourites with their kids.
Phones and Photos
Technology is a gift that all ages will appreciate and Phones and Photos have a range of different products available. “A tile locator is a good option for those people who struggle to find their keys,” owner Ave Adoberg said. Garmin Vivofit Junior fitness trackers and Cygnett portable battery chargers for phones and tablets also make good last-minute gifts.
Current affairs and science-fiction books are top sellers this year. “For teens Mortal Engines, which is on at the movies, is popular,” Warrnambool Books manager Helen Lynch said. “And The Cave about the Thai cave rescue is something anyone who followed the incident will enjoy”. The Ed Sheeran biography is selling well for mums and teenage girls, and the new Tracey Kruger book We Love The Beach is a great read for younger children.
Soulsby and Struth Pharmacy
Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream and body products are suitable for all budgets with items starting at $30. Manager Levian Aiken said Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle was their most popular women’s fragrance with gift packs available. Armani men’s mini fragrance gift packs are priced at $75 and Napoleon lip gloss sets from $35.
Surf Co Warrnambool
Hooded beach towels for adults and children are this summer’s hot items, with towels, hats, rash vests and wallets also sitting wrapped under south-west Christmas trees this year. Owner Raelene Ponting said two-for-one $50 T-shirts, socks, surf wax and lunch boxes were other affordable gift items.
Willow Tree figurines and MOR Boutique body products sell well year-round but especially at Christmas, owner Renee Roberts said. Other top-selling items this year include circle wall planters, pots, head planters, candles and diffusers, leather bags and wallets, cheeseboards and jewellery.
Quirky clocks, novelty socks and planters are flying off the shelves at Phinc with people looking for a gift with a point of difference. Owner Tracey Togni said other affordable presents included shower beer holders, microfibre tea towels, scratch maps, pots and planters, Japanese tea sets, Emu slippers and bamboo boxer shorts.
Relax and Entertain
Beautiful bed linen, wall art and leather goods are the most sought-after items at Relax and Entertain. Manager Catherine Shaw said it was hard to pinpoint their best sellers as all their product ranges were going well. She said residents would be receiving some gorgeous gifts with some great products in store this year. Artificial native flower arrangements, vases, candles, servingware and baskets are other great ideas.
Cafe Cycles owner Luke Pretlove said a multi-tool was a useful gift for bike enthusiasts. “It's great to have a small tool kit on the bike with you to keep you out of trouble,” he said. A set of lights can help keep you safe on the road and can be used as daytime running lights, on backpacks, helmets or the dog’s collar.
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