The Christmas present of the year is a novelty or something that attracts interest, it reflects the time we live in and is of importance to the trade. HUI/Handelns Utredningsinstitut considers that the e-bike meets these criteria, but what does retail researcher at LUSEM Jens Hultman say about it?
"The Christmas present of the Year 2017 is an unusually expensive thing and therefore unexpected," says Jens Hultman. The e-bike does meet all the criteria of HUI, but I don't think it will be a very popular Christmas present. Comparable is the flat screen TV several years ago. It was also expensive and not something that everyone got for Christmas. The e-bike is a sign of the time, but will probably not end up beneath every Christmas tree. Besides, a new bike is usually bought in the spring."
Why the Christmas present of the Year?
Why is it important to select The Christmas present of the Year? Jens Hultman believes that although consumer critics may consider the annual selection as unnecessary and foolish, it reflects something interesting, namely the change of the trade landscape and prevailing consumer trends. Very popular articles say something about the Swedes of today, who we are and where we are heading.
The e-bike powered by a battery is not a brand new item, it has been around for about 10 years and around 70,000 electric bicycles were sold in Sweden only during 2017. Is this a trend that is here to stay?
"Surely," says Jens Hultman. "Jonas Arnberg, chief economist at Svensk Handel, believes that it is part of a mega trend about urbanization, environmental awareness and health. We have also other important, big trends. For example I would go for a gift being a part of another megatrend, namely digitization. I thought The Christmas present of the Year 2017 would be something controlled by the mobile phone, such as a light source or a speaker."
Unlike many other Christmas gifts over the years, which often appeal to a younger generation and customer group, this is something that is aiming at consumers who are becoming increasingly important in trade, the seniors. With great purchasing power. The e-bikes appeal to those buyers who can afford expensive equipment and who want to move around quickly and comfortably. With this type of bike they get new opportunities.
"For example I don't think students will buy e-bikes," says Jens Hultman.
The Christmas present of the Year 2017 was unexpected. This year's candidate was not obvious and difficult to guess. However, this was not the case last year.
"Sometimes it has been predictable, like the mobile phone and like last year when the VR camera got the award."
The Christmas present of the Year 2018
And what Christmas gifts will we see in the future, what about The Christmas present of the Year 2018?
"An interesting trend is that you buy Christmas presents for yourself, which you can think about in relation to this year's winning item. We can already consider this phenomenon as a trend and could reflect upon this as a usual Christmas gift in the future. To treat yourself with something you really want for Christmas could become the next winner, no matter what it is."
Finally, what do you want for Christmas this year, Jens Hultman?
"I will be really excited if I get an e-bike!"