By Eimear Dodd Journalism MA student, @Irish_TechNews

Is it too early to mention Christmas? There are fewer than nine weeks to go until we reach the festive period.

This week, Argos Ireland held its showcase of products for the Christmas period across ranges including tech, toys, jewellery and homewares.

Technology wise, the retailer expects drones, fitness monitors and smart home tech to be among the top products this year. Games consoles including the Nintendo Switch and the new Xbox One remain popular. There’s also a revival of tech classics including vinyl turntables and Polaroid cameras.

Research carried out for the retailer earlier in the year suggested that some parents start shopping for the festive season during the summer months. The survey also found that parents plan to spend more than €100 on a ‘big’ present per child.

The company released its predictions for the toys that Santa can expect letters about earlier in the year including:

·         Luvabella doll

·         LEGO Friends Sunshine Catamaran

·         Airhogs DR1 Official Race Drone

·         Hatchimals

·         Chad Valley Tiny Treasures Twin Set

Speaking at the time, Linzi Walker, chief toy buyer for Argos, said: “This year’s top toys list is a fantastic blend, as toymakers evolve childhood favourites alongside the introduction of newer and more technology-led gifts.

“There are many opportunities for children and parents alike to embrace user-friendly technology this Christmas.”

The retailer has also re-launched its jewellery lines this year with ranges that include tie-ins with Disney and Harry Potter.

Argos is a leading digital retailer with close to a billion website visits a year. More than half of the company’s sales originate online while around 120 million customer transactions take place in its stores each year.

The UK retailer opened its first stores in Ireland in 1995 and currently has over 35 stores in the country employing over 1,000 people. It launched its Irish website in 2005.

Argos is part of J Sainsbury plc which also owns the retail brands Sainsbury and Habitat.

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