Rotorua stores are getting busier as to countdown to Christmas gets shorter.

And local retailers say no matter who you are buying for, there is plenty available for Christmas shoppers to find the perfect gift.

Portico Gallery co-owner Susan Jory said things had been picking up in store, with it starting to get particularly busy last week.

Customers were looking for something different, she said.


Jory said they had a great connection with its artisans, so were able to tell people a story about what they were buying.

"That's what we find people are looking for more and more - something with a bit of soul to it."

She said the Bonbon vegan bath and beauty products were great sellers, along with a lot of ceramics.

Jory said other popular items were scented candles, wooden items such as cheeseboards, cards, vintage papers, co-owner John Miles' photography and "funnily enough" socks.

Monkey Kids owner Kimberley Edwards said it was all about quality over quantity and people were making the decision to support New Zealand makers.

She said there was a bigger push for natural and handmade items, where there was a story behind the product.

Some of the store's biggest selling products included dolls from Spain, handmade dolls' clothes from Poland, Luggy baskets, Quut beach and summer products, and toys which had more than one use, she said.

Train sets and trucks were always popular, she said.

McLeods Booksellers manager Jemma Pirrie said for children's the store had been selling a lot of NeverMoor by Jessica Townsend, which she highly recommended.

Other popular reads for kids were Bad Dad by David Williams and Kuwi's Kitchen by Kat Merewether.

It had also been selling a lot of Tom Scott's biography Drawn Out, The Secret Life of Cows, Dog Zen, cookbooks and Ken Follet books.

She said great Christmas gift ideas she would recommend for children included all of Kat Merewether's books and The Gecko Annual.

For adults she recommended The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey - "It's so beautifully written".

She also recommended Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and local artist Maggie Covell's illustrated book The Fierce little Handbook of Women A-Z.

The Arts Village manager Mary-Beth Acres said the village had sold quite a few artworks from its 200 Show already, and had a lot of gift shoppers coming through the galleries.

She said normally with an exhibition the village asked that people picked up works at the close of the show, but for the 200 Show the rules were different because so many people were buying art as gifts for their friends and whanau, and wanted to get them home, wrapped and under the tree.

"Artwork is such a lovely, personal gift to give people and can make buying gifts really fun because it is all about taste and aesthetics - what you like and what you think would suit your loved ones.

"We love people buying gifts from our show at the moment because all of the artists are living or working in Rotorua and we love to see our talented local artists making money from their work."

And it's not just humans who can expect something under the tree this year.

Animates Rotorua store manager Kevin Nicholls said it was just as common for pet owners to buy gifts for their animals as it was for parents going into toy stores for their children.

He said people tended to look for festive-related items, such as pet clothing, festive toys and stockings with treats.

Treats were a big seller at this time of year and people stocked up on food if they were going away.