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Acentric’s latest survey identified Barbie and Frozen are the most desirable toy brands for
girls in SA. For boys, cars and PlayStation game consoles are most popular.
This is according to a new survey conducted by Acentric Marketing Research
(Pty) LTD at the end of November 2015. The survey was representative of South
Africans in metro areas in terms of age, gender, ethnic group and household income
(see technical note).

Almost 90% of consumers surveyed intend or have already
completed Christmas shopping this year. Amongst those parents buying presents
for their children this Christmas, 60% expect to purchase toys. This was
followed video games (31%), mainstream clothing (20%), personal electronics
(19%), designer clothes (18%) and books (17%).

Amongst girls, dolls as a category top the list in terms of
desirability. In terms of specific brands, Barbie and Frozen are reported by
parents to be the most desirable brands this Christmas. “Barbie still manages
to stay near the top of shopping lists, even though the brand is now more than
50 years old.” says Craig Kolb, MD of Acentric Marketing Research (Pty) LTD.

Amongst boys, the car category leads the way; with no
particular toy brand or franchise standing out. In terms of specific product brands,
the Sony PlayStation PS3/PS4 range of video-game related products was mentioned
most frequently. “For Christmas 2015, PlayStation appears to be a more popular
choice than XBOX and Nintendo.” says Kolb.

Another interesting finding relates to the divide between rich
and poor South Africans this Christmas. The majority in SA’s top income bracket
anticipate spending more on Christmas presents this year than they did last
year, with average spend for the group standing firm in the face of SA’s
economic problems.

“Approximately 57% of those in the top income bracket –
defined as those earning more than R50,000 per month – were ready to spend more
on presents this year; compared with 31% in the income bracket below. Survey
participants in the top bracket now budget an average of R8,400 for Christmas
presents – slightly more than that claimed in the previous period.” says Kolb.

Consumers in the top income bracket were also able to complete
their shopping more quickly this year. “Approximately 32% of those in the top
bracket had already completed Christmas shopping at the time of the survey,
while only 15% of those in the R5,000 to R49,000 income bracket had done so.
This may indicate greater uncertainty regarding available budgets, many it
would seem are holding off on purchases until closer to Christmas day; possibly
to reduce the risk of budget shortfalls. This has implications in terms of how
retailers should stock and promote during the Christmas season. Promoting and
discounting more affordable items closer to Christmas day may make sense.” says
Kolb.

Those in the lowest income bracket – earning below R5,000
per month – are clearly suffering this Christmas. “Sadly one fifth do not intend
on shopping for presents at all this year in the lowest bracket.  On average approximately R1,600 is budgeted
for spend on Christmas presents in this bracket, not discounting over claim. In
part this spending may take the form of everyday necessity purchases, such as
food, re-tasked as gifts.” says Kolb.

Technical
note:

An online-panel survey using an ISO 20252 panel was
conducted during November 2015. Post-weighting was applied to provide
approximate representation of the SA metro population in terms of age, gender,
ethnic group and household income. In total 300 interviews were completed
yielding a 5.6% margin of error at 95% confidence level. Average spend figures
were rounded to the nearest R100.