Oxford Street is ready for Santa to come flying into town on his sleigh, a mere 145 days before Christmas. Selfridges has lights flickering and trees glittering, even though people outside are still enjoying the summer sunshine. The purpose is to draw in money from those that are willing to get into the Chrisitmas spirit a little early.
Some of the items the central London department store has ready for this year’s Christmas season: fake pre-lit trees, giant Christmas stockings, novelty socks, and last year’s bestseller, Union Jack baubles.
The tourist market is why Selfridges is trying to cash in on before Christmas. Christmas buyer Geraldine James said the collection had been launched earlier this year than ever before.
She said: “I’m sure it’s very early for some people to be thinking about Christmas, but we are just responding to public demand. We launched the Christmas collection last year on August 8th and we sold more than 1,000 baubles in the first week. Sales were up 40 per cent on the previous year which shows some customers want to shop for Christmas at this time of year.”
She added that everyone focuses on their own home and says “I wouldn’t dream of buying decorations now but for visitors to this country I think it would be hard to resist taking something home that reminds them of London, like one of our Union Jack baubles.”
“We’ve already sold some things today so there is obviously the demand.”
She said the store had priced items so there was something for everyone, affordable to quite nice.
She proclaimed, “I can see a time when we offer our Christmas collection throughout the year.”