Until now, the business of gift giving has been virtually ignored from a research perspective, yet its impact on the national economy, on retailers and consumer goods manufacturers is tremendous. The last quarter of year, the ‘gift-giving shopping season’ accounts for nearly one-fourth of total annual sales among the class of retailers, which includes home furnishings and appliance retailers, clothing and accessories, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, general merchandisers, and other miscellaneous retailers such as office supply, stationers, florists, and gift stores.
And that doesn’t even include the regular, routine gift-giving that occurs throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, housewarmings and holiday occasions, such as Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentine’s Day etc.
Because people always have and surely always will give gifts, the industry has simply taken gift giving for granted and built a 5000 cr. industry on this assumption. But giftware companies and retailers are discovering that the consumer market is shifting. While gift companies and gift stores focus on finding and selling the next big gift item, consumers are choosing different kinds of gifts that they find in different kinds of stores.
Today, our society is incredibly affluent with most consumers having all the material goods they could possibly need. As a result, when shoppers go to the store, they rarely are driven by a need to buy anything, rather their purchases are based upon a desire to achieve an experience or a feeling.
The road to business success in the gift industry today is all about the consumer, anticipating their needs, satisfying their desires, fulfilling their dreams. Today, the products we sell are but a means to an end, and that end is a heightened experience…a good feeling …a positive emotion that connects the gift giver and the gift recipient.