Sep 22

The Gifts We Must Stop Giving: Ideas For Christmas

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Shop smarter, not harder, this Christmas
While we all try our best to keep up that polite exterior, most of us have some experience of forcing a smile upon receiving an unwanted gift. Novelty ties, ill-fitting underwear, naff toiletry sets – it seems we are a nation stuck in a never-ending cycle of buying for the sake of it, and receiving useless presents in exchange.
To support the launch of their new range of lifestyle gift experiences, powered by Time Out, Smartbox set out to find out more about the nation’s gifting habits.  They surveyed 845 people, up and down the country, and found that:
·         Graciously accepting and quickly returning unwanted gifts is fast becoming the norm. 44% of people have returned a gift that was bought for them, with Londoners he most likely to do so
·         40% of people asked prefer to choose their own gifts
·         When asked to name the worst present received, the most popular response was an item of clothing (particularly socks, ill-fitting pants and hosiery)
·         It’s not all about the money. A whopping 84% said that an expensive gift would not mean more to them, with 95% claiming they’d prefer a gift that’s thoughtful, regardless of cost.
·         Despite the efforts of the eager 8.5% of the population who begin their Christmas shopping in January, 47% don’t feel their gifts are always truly appreciated
·         66% often spend more on a gift than they had hoped to, with a shocking 42% admitting they often spend more than they can afford.
Garry Barone, Head of Sales and Marketing at Smartbox UK, said: “We all know what it’s like to receive a gift we’re not too keen on, and I think if we’re honest, most of us have bought a gift that we knew wasn’t quite up to scratch. When you think about it, buying for the sake of it is a pretty pointless and sometimes costly exercise – particularly when it comes to Christmas. Our survey found that the average person buys for 10 or more people each year – and spends around £250.
“However, when it comes to receiving gifts, it really is the thought that counts. A Smartbox lifestyle gift experience gives you the best of both worlds. While you choose the themed Smartbox that best suits your loved one, they themselves are able to take their pick from up to 200 experiences detailed within.”
Smartbox is Europe’s leading lifestyle gift experience company. This year, they have joined forces with Time Out to offer an incredible range of gifts to suit every age, personality and pocket.
Unlike your usual gift cards and vouchers, each Time Out Smartbox comes in a quality gift box. The voucher comes with a glossy book featuring full details on each experience, making it really easy to choose. What’s more, the price is nowhere to be seen, so they never need to know how much you spent.
The booking process is easy as the voucher is activated on purchase.  All the recipient needs to do is choose what they want to do, where and when. They book directly with the experience provider and redeem the voucher on site. And with many of the packages available for two people, you can share the experience – bonus!
The Time Out Smartbox range includes:
·         Adrenaline (£119.95)
·         Adventure (£29.95)
·         Charming Getaways (£139.95)
·         Delicious Retreats (£199.95)
·         Gourmet Escapes (£269.95)
·         Table for Two (£59.95)
·         Tastings (£29.95)
·         Unusual Escapes (£89.95)
·         Zen & Spa (£59.95)
Also available:
·         The Michelin Star Dining Smartbox (£169)
Smartbox gift boxes are available at selected John Lewis, Butlers, Beales, Clinton Cards, Waterstones, Heal’s and Cargo stores. See website for full details & terms www.smartbox.co.uk.