Pressure Cookers A Hot Item This Holiday Shopping Season

November 22, 2018

Pressure Cookers A Hot Item This Holiday Shopping Season

Who would have guessed that 2018 would be the year of the pressure cooker?

If the Black Friday advertisements trumpeting doorbusters suggests anything, it’s that there’s a pressure cooker on every list.

Major retailers are parading out Instant Pot, others have the Crock-Pot Express Crock multi-cooker.

Target has Instant Pot for $69.95, that’s $30 off and includes a $10 gift card with purchase. Big Lots has the Crock-Pot version for half off $69.99. Kohl’s has Instant Pot for $69.99

JCPenney took a risk and put an air fryer out front for $4.99 (after a $20 mail-in rebate) but put a discounted brand, the Cooks Fast Pot Jr. pressure cooker, on the back for $19.99 (also after a mail-in rebate).

Elsewhere in the ads, gadgets remain the persistent centerpiece, and for good reason.

The National Retail Federation surveyed adults in October on what they want for the holidays. Almost 30 percent say they want consumer electronics or computer-related accessories.

High-tech 4K televisions appear to be priced at their lowest ever, a phenomenon fueled by falling prices for TVs and steep discounts.

Walmart’s ad insert says each of its megastores has at least five 55-inch Samsung 4K smart TVs ($398), and at least 12 of the 32-inch variety ($178).


Other than plummeting prices for tech, the stuff inside the Black Friday deal guidebooks feels a little like getting a pressure cooker for Christmas — boring.

There isn’t one thing in particular that everyone is after, and that might be a boon for shoppers, especially those in the toy market, said Phil Rist, an executive vice president with the NRF’s research partner Prosper Insights.

“There’s nothing this year that’s going to be scarce for the toy category,” he said referring to data that the NRF released Wednesday. “We’re always looking for the movers. ... The boys, it’s going to be the Legos, and they’re not scarce. It’s (also) going to be video game-type things.”

Last year, boys asked their parents for Star Wars toys. This year it’s Marvel Avengers, and “there’s no shortage of any of those,” he said.

Dolls dominated the top three slots for what little girls want for Christmas.

“Barbie reigns supreme and has for a while,” Rist said, going on to explain the No. 8 spot last year., the L.O.L. Surprise doll, has moved up to No. 3.

“If there was anything that would be in the ‘Oh, I hope I can find it and I hope they don’t run out’ (category), it would be that one,” Rist said.

Walmart lists the L.O.L. doll for $29.88, but appears to be one of the few to have caught the trend early enough to include the doll in its ad.

Analysts expect that younger generations — consumers born between 1980 and the late 1990s — will spend more this year.

More than 40 percent of adults 18 to 24 years old, and 38 percent of adults 25 to 34 years old said that they’d spend more than last year.

“This holiday season retailers will experience the growing purchasing power of Gen Z and millennials,” said NRF President Matthew Shay in a statement Wednesday, adding that they’re likely to use the internet and deals at physical stores to get the most out of their shopping experience.

Consumers feel more confident about the economy and better about the prospects for employment and financial stability, Rist said.

“It’s not just the money. They’re feeling good about the season,” he said. “We’re seeing an uptick in all the things that drive loosening the wallet a little bit.”

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570-348-9131, @jon_oc

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