More shoppers choosing luxury over volume this Christmas

According to shopping centre owner Hammerson, this year has seen a new spending pattern emerge in the run up to Christmas with consumers choosing to buy a few higher priced presents instead of many inexpensive ones.

Photo: Victoria Gate

Shopping centres Centrale in Croydon and Bullring in Birmingham have reported strong demand for high-end watches, with Rolex standing out as a favourite, while at Dundrum in Dublin jewellery sales from fashion designers including Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs has seen strong growth.

Meanwhile, shoppers at the Oracle in Reading have prompted a rise in exclusive diamond jewellery sets, underlining a trend to invest in luxury items this Christmas.

Other items flying off the shelves have included cashmere jumpers and gift sets, according to Hammerson. And technical outerwear brands such as The North Face and Timberland have benefited from the recent cold snap, with jackets and coats selling out at Union Square in Aberdeen and Highcross in Leicester.

Trend-driven shoppers have also upgraded their winter wardrobes with faux fur jackets, with h Silverburn in Glasgow and Brent Cross in London seeing a surge in demand.

Mark Bourgeois, Hammerson Managing Director UK & Ireland, said: “It is encouraging to see an upbeat attitude towards spending on gifts during the all-important festive trading period.  We have seen that shoppers are prepared to loosen their purse strings for the right products, be that fashion, toys or jewellery.  

“It seems there has been a marked change in consumer mind set especially towards jewellery and luxury watches, not solely representing a very special Christmas gift for loved ones, but also purchased as investment pieces.”

Hammerson owns some of the UK’s largest shopping centres, including Bullring, Grand Central and and Victoria Gate. The company hit the headlines earlier this month when it announced a £3.4bn bid for rival Intu.

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