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CONSUMER ELECTRONICS  NOVELTY GADGETS CONTACTS


Centerprise: 01256 378000


Firebox.com: 020 7197 1259


Gem Distribution: 01279 822822


Hannspree: 0871 666 0850


Interactive Ideas: 020 8805 1000


Meroncourt: 01462 680060


Target Components: 01977 739300 Vtech:


01235 555545 [


 TARGET 3-CHANNEL HELICOPTER WITH GYROSCOPE


SRP: £18.95 Distributor: Target Components


They say: Unlike fragile foam or plastic bodied rivals, this revolutionary chopper boasts a strong metal frame, giving it unbelievable in-flight stability


Specs: Three-channel remote control, eagle head canopy, metal frame, advanced gyroscope


]


Wired and wonderful


As the holiday season draws closer, many retailers will be considering what to stock to cash in on the gift sector. Nicky Trup asks what we can expect this Christmas and checks out some of the novelty gadgets, executive toys and children’s devices on the market…


“The lower priced novelty devices can be a real margin maker and don’t require the hassle often associated with developing new product lines.”


WITH THE VAT rate set to increase to 20 per cent in January, the future of the retail market is uncertain, and there are conflicting predictions of what this festive season will hold for the High Street. Following Chancellor George Osborne’s emergency budget in June, The Telegraph was forecasting “a Christmas rush on the High Street to beat the VAT rise”, with shoppers looking to cram in as much spending as possible before the January 4th deadline. However, a recent survey by market


research firm Red Shift found that 86 per cent of UK consumers are aware of the impending VAT increase and over half of them intend to cut back on spending at Christmas in preparation for it*. This might seem like bad news for the more expensive areas of the


www.pcr-online.biz


market, but it in fact opens up opportunities for retailers to sell lower priced, stocking-filler type products, from executive toys to novelty items and children’s gadgets. Of course, executive toys have


moved on from the 1970s when the businessman’s desk was not complete without a Newton’s Cradle, a suspended row of steel balls that swing from side to side, knocking against each other. Now, practically every novelty desktop item is USB powered, from miniature missile launchers to devices that can keep your coffee warm. Brands like Satzuma have carved out a niche as specialists in the sector, while e-tailer Firebox.com has now become synonymous with quirky tech gifts. Children’s gadgets, meanwhile,


often revolve heavily around character licences. As in the gaming sector, kids


seem to enjoy the familiarity of their favourite cartoons. Following the success of Toy Story 3’s cinematic release earlier this year, Buzz Lightyear is enjoying a major comeback, while evergreen characters such as Hello Kitty are still proving popular. While novelty products may not be


part of your regular Christmas stock, you might want to consider that these items can provide a healthy return. According to many distributors, the lower priced novelty devices can be a real margin maker and don’t require the hassle often associated with developing new product lines. Simply display them well and keep them close to the counter and there you have it – instant impulse purchase. Merry Christmas and happy trading! * Research by Red Shift conducted on behalf of Auto Trader.


>>> November PCR 87


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