July Opening For Top Stores' Xmas Sections
1:03pm UK, Monday July 25, 2011
High street shops Harrods and Selfridges are to open their Christmas departments this week - a full five months before the big day.
A surge in demand from overseas visitors has prompted the early opening
Both stores are to launch their Christmas ranges on Thursday as more and more shoppers start their festive shopping early.
The stores usually launch Christmas goods in August, but changing consumer trends are behind the move, it is claimed.
Research by Selfridges claims some of the demand has come from China, where the 'Peking pound' spent by tourists in the UK has seen a jump in sales for Christmas goods.
China's fast-growing economy has created a new demand for luxury goods, and research shows many see British Christmas decorations as the perfect souvenirs.
Harrods will start selling Christmas goods from this Thursday
Last year, Selfridges' Christmas shop sold more than 2,000 baubles in its first seven days.
Wealthy tourists from abroad have contributed to the rise, with international customers at Selfridges increasing by 40 per cent since last year.
Geraldine James, Christmas shop buying manager at Selfridges, said: "Christmas is coming earlier each year.
"I can see a time when we offer a capsule Christmas collection throughout the year."
Selfridges usually opens its Christmas department in August
Elsewhere, a report by accountants Deloitte has claimed the high street spending slowdown will claim more victims this year.
Lee Manning, restructuring partner at Deloitte, said: "It is difficult to see where the positive growth will come from in the next few months.
"Inflation has hit retailers hard in the second quarter and unfortunately we are likely to see retail administrations increase as the year goes on."
The number of retail firms appointing administrators rose to 43 in the three months to June from 40 in the same period last year - but while the increase is relatively small,it included big names such as Oddbins, Moben, Dolphin, Focus DIY, Habitat and Jane Norman and TJ Hughes.