Christmas Present of the Year 2015
A robotic vacuum cleaner. Photo: Markus Landén/Radio Sweden

Sweden's Christmas Present of the Year - a robotic vacuum

"The quality of these products has improved since they first came out"
2:29 min

The 2015 Swedish Christmas Present of the Year is a robotic vacuum. "We're getting closer to having smart homes as well as smart phones," says Swedish retail research Group, HUI, which makes an annual top selling Christmas present prediction.

Carin Blom, senior consultant at HUI Research, says that they picked the robotic vacuum because it's trendy both to invest in products for the home and to spend money on technology.

"We have a huge digitalisation trend and we're getting closer to having smart homes as well as smart phones and computers," Blom says.

Robotic vacuum cleaners have been on the market for about 15 years, but Carin Blom says that the reason the product got picked this year is that they have become better and more affordable.

"The quality of these products has improved quite a lot since they first came out and with that we've also seen a growing interest from consumers," she says.

The Retail Institute, a consulting firm which analyses consumer trends in Sweden, has chosen a gift of the year since 1988. Previous picks have included the tablet PC in 2010, audio books in 2006, DVD players in 2000, mobile phones in 1994 and last year, a fitness bracelet.

The announcement of the Christmas Present of the Year, or Årets Julklapp, has become a tradition in Sweden, and this year a number of betting sites let people bet on what they thought this year's present was going to be. A donation to charity was one of the top contenders, among with the smart watch and sparkling water makers.

An online poll on tabloid Aftonbladet's webpage showed that roughly half of the respondents were thrilled with the robot vacuum being named the Christmas Present of the Year, whereas the rest preferred to do their vacuuming themselves. Some of the initial reactions on social media ranged from "finally!" to "they will soon flood the classifieds".

According to Carin Blom at HUI Research, the product is already quite popular with consumers and she says that it's unclear how today's announcement is going to affect the sales.

"It's a product that already sells well, and that's one of the criteria for the prediction, but we never measure how well they sell," says Carin Blom at HUI Research.

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