Noel Leeming executive general manager of merchandise Jason Bell says the Fitbit Charge HR is the must-have item this Christmas, as the retailer expects a 400 percent increase in sales in the wearables category.
The Fitbit is a wearable device that monitors users’ physical activity each day and even tracks their sleep patterns.
“Increased functionality, multiple new products and lower price points are all key in making this by far the biggest wearable Christmas ever,” Bell says.
“The fact that this technology is wearable makes it not only a technology product but a fashion accessory as well, making it the perfect gift.”
PriceMe, New Zealand’s largest comparison shopping site, agrees that the Fitbit will be one of the most popular items this Christmas.
It says it has been one of the most searched-for products recently on its website, as more than one million people visit the site to compare product prices in the lead up to Christmas.
Other gadgets Noel Leeming says are in demand are remote controlled helicopters and drones, with prices ranging from $299 to $2599.
Drones are also proving popular on PriceMe, which singles out the Jumping Sumo drone. It’s a toy that’s controlled using a mobile app and has a wifi control range of around 50 metres.
Noel Leeming says Nutri Ninja blenders are also expected to be a hot commodity, as Kiwis become more health conscious.
PriceMe agrees, saying both the Nutri Ninja and Nutribullet will end up in many Christmas stockings.
Nespresso machines are another key item by Noel Leeming, as are UE Boom portable speakers.
PriceMe also says Logitech’s UE Boom is the most popular speaker being searched for by Kiwis.
A gift Noel Leeming expects to be popular is the Instax Mini Selfie Camera.
Priced at $299.99, the gadget is great for young’uns who are after the perfect instantly printed selfie.
The HP Star Wars laptop is also expected to sell fast, with the latest instalment in Star Wars movie franchise being released just before Christmas.
The laptop has customised Star Wars images, themes and sounds.
PriceMe says Lego will be a smash hit, in particular a Lego Dimensions toy pack for Xbox one that has mini-figures and a toy pad “portal”.
The toys that are placed on the portal can be used in the game, crossing over the physical and digital worlds.
Elsewhere in the world, Americans are buying guns and cars for Christmas. The FBI processed 185,345 background checks for guns on Black Friday.
US auto sales are also close to breaking all-time records.
In the UK, furniture and home categories have been selling the best in November. Electrical appliances sold particularly well due to Black Friday offers.
Noel Leeming’s top picks (in no particular order):
– Remote controlled helicopters and drones
– Nutri Ninja blenders
– Nespresso machines
– UE Boom
– Instax Mini Selfie Camera
– HP Star Wars laptop
– Samsungs new Galaxy J Series smartphones
– Sony 55” Ultra High Definition 3D Smart LED with Android TV
PriceMe’s top picks:
– Fallout 4 game (PS4)
– Lego Dimensions
– Nutri Ninja and Nutribullet
– Jumping Sumo Mini Drone
– Wireless speakers
Top five gifts purchased in store
Food, wine and spirits (74%)
Clothing and accessories (58%)
Sports and outdoor equipment (47%)
Technology and electronics (47%)
Top five gifts purchased on NZ-based websites
Vouchers for goods and services (33%)
Books, DVDs or CDs (22%)
Toys and games (21%)
Technology and electronics (15%)
Top five gifts purchased on overseas online sites
Books, DVDs or CDs (21%)
Make up and fragrances (10%)
Clothing and accessories (9%)
Toys and games (7%)
Technology and electronics (6%)