Has Christmas arrived too early at Selfridges?
On July 29, Selfridges opened its Christmas shop at its flagship Oxford Street location in London, claiming again to become the first department store in the world to have a Christmas section this year.
The shop has been opening in late July for years and Selfridges says it has set the stage for its string of year-on-year record sales. Last October, Selfridges reported its twelfth consecutive year of record sales.
“We have so many customers visiting from all over the world, eager to snap up festive decorations and souvenirs on their London summer holidays which they can’t buy at home,” said Eleanor Gregory, Selfridges’ Christmas and home buyer, in a statement. “Our summer Christmas shop launch simply addresses the growing demand for convenience Christmas shopping outside the traditional Christmas season from many of our customers.
“They include a large number of domestic customers who love to Christmas shop very early in the year to get it wrapped and taken off their to-do list.”
The shop features more than 600 items, including a “Santa on a motorcycle” figurine for £45 ($55) and other glitter decorations. An extensive range of Christmas cards, gift wrapping and advent calendars are available.
In September, Selfridges will expand the section to 3,500 items, adding a velvet gold crown tree topper for £95 ($116) as well as handmade decorations, including David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Prince ornaments. The full range is currently available online.
In recent years, many consumers have groaned upon hearing about holiday promotions arriving well before Thanksgiving. Yet, some appreciate the early buying. According to last year’s holiday shopping survey from the National Retail Federation, 21 percent of respondents planned to start their holiday shopping in October and 18 percent said they began in September or earlier. Spreading out their budgets and avoiding last-minute crowds were the most commonly cited reasons.
- UK department store Selfridges opens Christmas shop … in July – CNN
- Only 149 shopping days to go: Christmas comes early to Selfridges – The Guardian
- Selfridges opens its Christmas shop – with 149 shopping days to go – Daily Mirror
- Selfridges opens its Christmas shop a record 149 days early to meet demand from customers – The Sun
- Consumers will spend 4.1 percent more than last year during winter holidays – National Retail Federation
- Did Amazon wrap up Christmas in July? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Selfridges striking the right tone with its early Christmas shop opening? Should the summer promotion be copied in the U.S.?