2018’s hottest Christmas gifts: shoppers spent on smart TVs, watches and headphones, finds Vend


With the UK’s Christmas holiday now behind us, retail management software leader Vend has revealed the most-purchased products in the run up to 2018’s big day for independent retailers.

Based on Vend’s sales volumes for December, those getting a gift at Christmas were most likely to have been the lucky recipients of jewellery or a watch, clothing – particularly a t-shirt, top or pair of socks – a handbag, printed family photos, a toy, homewares or book.

But the items that skyrocketed in popularity at Christmas included newer products alongside more traditional Christmas gifts. Some of the hottest items purchased last year were:

  • Smart TVs: increase of over 500% from 2017
  • Comics: increase of 260% from 2017
  • Handmade ceramics: increase of 165% from 2017
  • Games and puzzles: increase of 155% from 2017
  • Watches: increase of 141% from 2017
  • Noise cancelling headphones: increase of 112% from 2017
  • Scented candles: increase of 110% from 2017
  • Socks: increase of 97% from 2017

“It looks like many of us received some pretty amazing gifts on Christmas day, as shoppers hunted out more tech items like the latest headphones and TVs and looked for more special artisan products like ceramics,” says Higor Torchia, Vend country manager for EMEA.

“Camera purchases are also up on last year, as well as jewellery, and card games to get us through the cold weather. Although our data shows that a lot of traditional go-to gifts, like socks, books, and underwear were still very much a popular choice. For example, sock purchases increased by 97% year-on year, books were up 119%, and underwear up 41%,” says Higor.

“Some of the more unusual purchases we’ve seen include the rise of the avocado and pineapple as trendy items. Products like the kid’s toy avocado smash game, avocado face masks, and avocado and pineapple keyrings and home decor have all grew in popularity. Plus, on the fashion front, the faux fur trend seems to have grown, with an increase in purchases of these items,” says Higor.

Top products by city:

Who will be the most blinged out in 2019? While London shoppers spent up large on jewellery and watches, it’s actually shoppers in Brighton that bought the most jewellery.

And Edinburgh shoppers are showing themselves to have had the biggest festive spirit, purchasing by far the most Christmas-related items compared to any other UK city.

The most popular products this Christmas just passed compared to other cities are:

  • London: Jewellery, watches, t-shirts, speakers and headphones, books, candles
  • Brighton: Jewellery, vinyl and records, homeware
  • Edinburgh: Christmas products, giftware, handbags, books
  • Glasgow: Candles, giftware
  • Norwich: Christmas products, jewellery
  • Bristol: T-shirts, trousers and chinos