The countdown has begun: in a few weeks’ time, retailers will be putting on show the latest Christmas trends with original accessories, unique Christmas tree baubles and ideas for sustainable decorations.
With Christmasworld being the go-to fair for everything Christmas, what have people actually ordered in especially large numbers for 2019/20? What will we be able to find in stores and in online retail sites in a few weeks’ time?
“The fat-ball bird feeder, the key holder and the reindeer figures―all products in wood,” recommends Benjamin Wolffs, marketing director at Designimdorf.
This company is all about original products that are modern, reductionist in style and characterised by a concern for sustainability.
“There is a trend for traditional items with a reductionist slant and that is reflected in our sales figures,” he explains. Also getting lots of orders is the ‘Smoky Dwarf’ and the house shaped fragrance burner, as well as a laser-cut star made from walnut to hang on the Christmas tree.
“We thought, to begin with, that a contrasting item on the tree―ie one in lighter wood―would sell well, but the darker one is more popular. Basically, the star is definitely our strongest Christmas item.”
On the other hand, it is the key holder that is the buyers’ favourite, when it comes to gifts at Christmas time. In general, Wolffs observes, there is a growing customer base for high-quality and sustainably produced products.
“We are also finding that wholesalers and retailers are increasingly interested in manufacture and materials. They want to know how the wood is treated, what oils we use, for instance. However, the end customer is not yet really ready to pay the higher price. And sustainability, too, simply costs more.”
German craftsmanship is in demand across regional borders, too, something that the Deutsche Weihnachtssterne Manufaktur is also noticing. The company was founded in 2012 and produces Christmas stars in various sizes, made from paper and folded, cut, glued and painted all by hand.
“Whilst our main customers are in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we also sell to Japan and the US―Las Vegas and New York, for example,” says owner, designer and founder, Nicola Tennie.
“German handicraft work is highly valued there, as is the fact that we produce high-quality one-offs that are all handmade. That is proving very popular.”
The company offers the stars in gold, silver, red, white and copper. “Gold is the runaway best-seller, it is, of course, the most natural one to go with stars,” says Tennie. She has also noticed that dark red has been more popular this year. But, then, that is also a traditional Christmas colour.
Christmas decorations are unthinkable without animals and this, too, is evident by the figures at Vondels.
“Nature is a major trend, without a shadow of a doubt; greens are modern, together with any of the animals that inhabit the natural world,” owner, Loesje Donner-Raedts comments. “So, our bestsellers are the lobster, the tiger’s head and also the unicorn cake and our funky lips.”
In her view, the upcoming festivities will be dominated by animal prints. There’s nothing to stop Christmas decorations being just good fun, particularly the items for the tree. It’s fashionable, as she puts it. High-quality and uniqueness are a trend that Vondels also cater for in its collection.
But quality doesn’t necessarily mean conservative. “Younger customers, in particular, have, for some time, no longer decorated their homes in traditional fashion, but more according to individual taste and mood. Our pouting lips are a good example of that,” she adds.
Orders for candles have been relatively traditional. “Flat-top pillar candles are among those that have always sold well and continue to do so. But it’s our marbled candles with a rustic look that are increasingly in demand,” says Vanessa Wagner from Wiedemann.
“We’ve seen significant growth in this area. In summer, it’s ice-blue, pink and biscuit that are the trendy colours, in winter, traditional colours do best including red, gold, silver and cream. And there’s a shade of olive that is particularly in demand this year and has been doing very well.
“As far as traditional candles for the tree are concerned, red sells best, followed by gold. Consumers remain traditional in this area. But I am not surprised to see that other colours, too, are extending the Christmas spectrum more and more amongst younger customers,” she says.
Want to read more? Check out the full article in our Christmas digital magazine, which is out now!