Earlier this month, the Deloitte year-end holiday survey predicted that South Africans will raise their vacation spending on meals, gifts and socialising by an average of 5.7% this year, despite reporting obtaining slightly significantly less disposable earnings than in 2011. The same survey identified that most South African adults surveyed wanted money as a present, but had been most likely to be disappointed – the present probably to be bought for them this year was chocolate.
Nonetheless, don’t give up hope in Santa just however – if you happen to were among the 24% of South Africans surveyed who stated you wanted a smartphone or maybe a tablet personal computer for Christmas, you’ll be content to hear that both things proved to become major sellers within the shops in which the Day-to-day Maverick carried out an totally unscientific survey of its personal.
At Amazing Connection, a shop assistant stated that the store’s most popular purchase of the moment was the Kindle, the electronic book reader launched by Amazon in 2007. The recognition of the Kindle has been such that consumers are now purchasing a lot more e-books from Amazon than all hardcovers and paperbacks combined: in August Amazon UK reported that for each 100 print books purchased around the Amazon site, customers downloaded 114 e-books. E-book sales were also boosted this year by the mommy genre spawned by EL James’s bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey, with clients reportedly enjoying the privacy of becoming able to study the book in public on e-reader devoid of everyone else being aware of what it was. Amazing Connection sells Kindles ranging in price tag from R1,499 to R2,499.
It will be intriguing to find out whether Musica retailers will suffer in the till this year in the new availability of iTunes in South Africa as from the starting of December. Perhaps iTunes clients show additional musical discernment: topping the Musica chart at time of writing for CDs was Now That’s What I Get in touch with Music Vol 62 (R149.99), a motley assembly of modern music ranging from Katy Perry to local outfit Goldfish. The purchasing stress exerted by kids and teenagers was being felt within the DVD chart, presently led by Step Up Revolution (R149.99, the newest instalment in an American 3D dance movie franchise) and Brave, (R149.99) the most recent adventure film from the Pixar animation studios.
A Musica shop assistant said that when it came to gaming, the best-performing console this year was the X-Box (from R2,000 – R4,000), but that the newly-released Nintendo Wii U (R4,000) was also selling well. The Wii U is mentioned to become a step up from earlier Nintendo game consoles because it functions high-definition graphics for the first time and better gameplay’, assured the shop assistant. He said that probably the most in-demand games this year happen to be Contact of Duty: Modern day Warfare 3 (R699,95, a first-person shooter war game); Assassin’s Creed III and Halo IV, so should you have a gamer inside your life and you aren’t ideologically opposed to violent video games, these may be protected bets.
Gadget-wise, hip-hop artist Dr Dre was killing it at Musica, with his selection of headphones – Beats by Dr Dre – flying off the shelves at amongst R1,600 and R3,700. A portable speaker in the identical variety (R4,500) was also well known, yet another shop assistant explained, mainly because it had very excellent sound and might be operated either through a large battery or being hooked as much as a energy outlet.
The assistant said that a specifically famous gadget this year was the Prestigio Wifi Tablet, an entry-level tablet with an Android operating system promoting cheaply at R999.99. An iPad this ain’t – it doesn’t possess a camera, and you need to have a Wi-Fi connection – but for web-browsing and checking your e-mail on anything larger than a smartphone, it’s an inexpensive option. The Musica retailer we visited had just sold out of its stock, testament towards the item’s popularity.
At the iStore, no prizes for guessing what was promoting properly. An assistant mentioned the iPhone 5 (involving R8,299 and R10,799) had been flying off the shelves due to the fact its launch mid-December. Gizmodo known as it the most effective smartphone you could buy'; CNet opined that it was beaten towards the title of best tech solution of 2012 by the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S3 (about R7,999 – not attainable from the iStore, of course). Also popular amongst Apple acolytes this year are iPad Minis (R3,399 – R5,499) along with the iPad 4 (from R4,599, praised for getting the quickest mobile Apple item attainable).
Subsequent door at Sony, Apple’s market place dominance continued, with a shop assistant explaining that some of the best-selling products were the portable iPad and iPod docking systems, ranging in cost from involving R999 to R2,499.95. He stated that cameras remained a preferred purchase, using a particular favourite being the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, which retails for R8,000. There’s no medium-range camera that sells effectively, he stated. Basically the ones which sell are entry level and top-of-the-range.’
For those of a more outdoorsy disposition, Cape Union Mart was doing a brisk trade in its array of Go-Pro underwater cameras, which take high-definition stills and video footage at depths of as much as 60m. In case you plump for by far the most highly-priced model, at R4,999, there’s built-in Wi-Fi thrown in also. A shop assistant stated one other well known present this year was the array of Leatherman multitools, which start at R1,250 to get a gadget that includes capabilities like fuse-wire cutters – at all times helpful should you have a bomb to defuse. When asked what her excellent Christmas present in the shop’s catalogue could be, the assistant opted for a pair of salomon outlet uk (R1,399), appropriate for operating, gymming or hiking and very comfy’.
Le Creuset’s range of enamelled cookware attracts fans who verge on the cult-ish in their admiration. These pots and pans aren’t low-cost – Google why is Le Creuset so expensive and you’ll get more than 1,130,000 final results – but those salomon xt wings 3 inside the know insist that the quality is worth it. At the Le Creuset shop, an assistant said that the fastest-selling item this Christmas was the Buffet casserole, which she attributed to the truth that it’s the most versatile – you possibly can use it as a pan, an oven dish, anything at all’. The casserole comes in 3 sizes, using the smallest retailing for R1,598.
At Pastimes, a games shop within the V&A Waterfront, a shop assistant mentioned that the hottest item this year was a S107G remote-controlled helicopter (R299), which he claimed would appeal to anybody amongst eight and 40 years old. Why was it so well known? It really flies, he said. Fair enough. The assistant said the ultimate item on his own Christmas wish-list this year could be the AR.Drone 2.0, which is a quadricopter which you control from your smartphone. The craft has a built-in high-definition camera which allows you to record videos and take photos from up to 165 feet within the air. The recommended retail price tag for the flying game is R3,699.
And then, of course, there’s normally a book. There are new releases out by a host of reliable authors – Peter Carey, John Grisham, John Irving, Zadie Smith, Ian McEwan. Our fiction pick on the year is a debut novel, however – Patrick Flanery’s Absolution, which the New Yorker called uncommonly thought-provoking’. It is unquestionably among the finest novels about South Africa in recent years, although it was not written by a South African – Flanery is an American who lives in England. It’s a novel about post-Apartheid guilt as well as the ambiguities in the white liberal position, told in the perspective with the interaction amongst a young academic who seeks to write the biography of a Nadine Gordimer-esque doyenne of the South African literary establishment. It is exceedingly properly done.
In terms of non-fiction offerings, both Adriaan Basson’s Zuma Exposed and Julian Rademeyer’s Killing For Profit, about the rhino-poaching industry, happen to be well received. If you can’t face bleak material on Christmas morning, though, you may well want to consider Caitlin Moran’s Moranthology. Moran – a Brit – is one of the funniest journalists writing today, and this collection of her columns takes the reader through everything from her experience of visiting a sex club with Lady Gaga to her take on the eurozone crisis.
Topping the book charts on Kalahari.com this year is an Afrikaans children’s book by Leon Rousseau, Storieman’. Kalahari’s marketing manager Liz Hillock told the Everyday Maverick that this was the initial time in four years that Kalahari’s book chart has not been topped by a sports biography, considering there hasn’t been a prominent contender this year. Following Rousseau’s story omnibus is Fifty Shades of Grey, at number 2, with Masterchef South Africa The Cookbook at number 3.
Hillock said that in general there had been an increase in over 30% in Kalahari’s revenue this year, a rise she termed very strong’. She stated the biggest growth area was in electronics, which she attributed to a behaviour change amongst customers: People are much far more comfortable obtaining high priced items online than they used to be’. Entry-level multimedia devices had been especially in demand this year, Hillock mentioned – Kalahari’s top-selling item across all categories (including books) was a Gobii 7′ e-reader which sells for R799 and incorporates book vouchers worth R160.
Here’s a heads-up for everyone on Christmas morning – Hillock said that the best-selling appliance this year is a Mellerware Biltong Maker (R349) which allows you to make homemade biltong and droewors. A biltong maker? By a country mile, confirmed Hillock. We can’t sell them fast enough.