- Nov 23, 2015
As shoppers set out with their lists during the busy holiday season, eager to know what gift is all the rage, Northbrook retailers are ready to help everyone find the perfect present for that someone special. Northbrook Court Senior General Manager Caryn Torres identifies several trends to help guide shoppers this season:
Personalized Gifts From jewelry to clothing to travel mugs, gifts that can be identified with a memory, or an experience are growing in popularity. Tiffany’s and Silver Corner will engrave a message on a necklace or charm. Pandora also features a variety of charms representing a memory. Starbucks features the “You are Here” collection mugs which pay tribute to different cities around the world. The stackable mugs make great gifts that represent a visit or experience with someone, and can also be packaged with coffee.
Fitness Meets Fashion Workout clothes aren’t just for the gym anymore. “Now we have “athleisure,” where fitness meets fashion,” says Torres, with fitness clothes now branded as casual wear, designed for people with active lifestyles. Sleek, stylish work-out pants, with stretchy, breathable fabric can be worn for dog walking, running errands, or informal activities, paired with fashionable tops and jackets. Activity tracker Fitbits, long popular in electronic stores, have also invaded the fashion world and fit into jewelry.
Experiences/Charity Gifts that offer a service or experience, are a popular new trend. “A lot of people find meaning in giving something that they might enjoy together,” comments Torres. Some examples include cooking classes, movie gift cards, golf lessons, sports tickets, concert series or theater season tickets. If you know the person’s interests, health club memberships, museum memberships, zoo or botanic garden memberships are good choices. A contribution to the person’s favorite charity can also make a great gift.
Subscription Services: To give a gift that extends beyond the holiday season, many stores offer subscriptions, or gifts that arrive every month. For example, Starbucks has a plan that offers an 8.8 ounce bag of Starbucks coffee delivered every month for three, six or 12 months. Other options are beer or wine of the month. For around $10 a month, Birchbox.com offers monthly deliveries of grooming, beauty and lifestyle products.
Holiday Fashion Sparkles Torres notes that faux fur is very in, with many stores featuring faux vests. Sequins, glitter and bling are popular, particularly in stores with appeal to younger shoppers. Downtown boutique Juniper features a holiday sequin swirl dress. At Kovet, a classic sequin holiday romper is a great choice for night out. Also at Kovet, fleece lined items provide both style and comfort. Black fleece lined tights as well as fleece lined knee highs are cozy and soft, combining the practical and fashionable. For a fun gift, fur key rings are all the rage, according to owner Karen Scott. The real fur rings come in six different colors and make it easy to find your keys.
Technology Accessories “A lot of technology accessories that make people’s lives easier or enhance what they enjoy make great gifts,” suggests Caryn. Small sensors that fit into special gloves, allow you to measure your golf, tennis or baseball bat swing. Another hot product is a small device with a magnetic mount and tripod that make it easy to securely place or mount your smartphone to a desk, in the car or in the kitchen so you can watch a video, follow a recipe, or take a picture. For a young person with a smartphone, there are now stylish, kid-proof smartphone cases.
Digital Trends Holiday shoppers will find a number of cutting edge, yet affordable high tech items this the holiday season. “This year 4K, or Ultra High Definition, has exploded in the latest technology products,” points out Mike Egan, Best Buy. “Hollywood, the sports industry and cable TV are now shooting in 4K, so now there are more devices than ever that can take advantage of this new technology.” Prices for the 4K TVs have dropped significantly, including sizable discounts on high end sets with over 60 models now available in store.
Not only TVs, but streaming media player Roku allows you to stream 4K content from hundreds of channels, such as Netflix and Hulu. Devices start at $50. The 4K technology has also spread to cameras and computers. Popular GoPro cameras, used for live action photography, now feature the 4K technology. A number of smartphones now also feature cameras that shoot in 4K. Some Dell computers now also feature a 4K screen.
The hot new Sonos wireless speaker system can be hooked up to any TV or music device, delivering sound that’s true to the music and right for the room. Using WiFi, you can control all music and streaming services from an app on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The speakers come in three sizes and price points. To enjoy music on the go, ditch the wires with portable Bluetooth speakers that range in price from $20 to $129. Hook up your portable device to Bluetooth headphones when headed outdoors for a walk.
Tablets continue to be popular gift items, with extremely affordable options. Both e-Readers and tablets have come down in price from a year ago. Kindle offers a reader for under $50. Tablets for kids range in price from $100 to $150 and feature protective covers and appropriate content.