Selfridges unveiled its Christmas Shop at its flagship branch on London’s Oxford Street yesterday (Monday July 31).
The retailer claims to be the first department store in the world to launch a Christmas Shop 147 days before Christmas Day.
As in previous years, the Shop will launch in two phases. Phase two is planned for September 4, when the full-scale product offer will be available.
But this year, for the first time, phase one showcases a selection of products dedicated to London. This move has been driven by demand from customers, especially those from overseas, for London-inspired Christmas decorations and stocking fillers.
As a result, phase one of the Christmas Shop will be labelled The London Christmas Shop until the full offer is deployed in September.
Also new for 2017, the retailer will start selling a capsule selection of Christmas food from Friday (August 4).
The store usually launches its festive food selection in the latter half of October. The change means that products such as the Selfridges Selection Christmas pudding from the brand’s own-label food range will be available for five months rather than for usual 10 weeks.
Other food items launching later this week include Selfridges’ Traditional Christmas cake, Festive Jewelled Fruit cake, Festive White Chocolate & Pistachio Biscuits and Eggnog Curd.
This initiative is in response to customer demand for a greater availability of Christmas products outside the Christmas season.
The retailer said the ongoing commercial success of the summer launch of the Selfridges Christmas Shop translates into year-on-year record sales, driven by both domestic early Christmas shoppers and souvenir-hunting overseas customers.
When the Christmas Shop fully opens, it will include more than 130,000 products across the whole Christmas decoration range: a 10% increase on 2016.
The offer includes over 51,000 baubles, over 1,200 festive decoration options, over 750 different cards and wrapping paper options, over 65 light and tree options, and over 80 cracker options.
This year, the key decorations trends at Selfridges are: Deep Enchantment (green, bronze, copper), Champagne! (silver, champagne), Story Book (bright red, white, green), Extrovert (pink, jade green, bright blue) and Regal (red, gold, hints of purple and blue).
Selfridges Christmas & home buyer Eleanor Gregory said: “We’ve been opening the doors to our Christmas Shop during the summer for years now, and have become a real destination for fans of Christmas and festive decorations within and outside the UK.
“Some return to us year after year, excited at the prospect of discovering the new ranges and adding to their collections. We also have many customers visiting from all over the world, eager to snap up festive decorations and souvenirs which they can’t buy at home. So we make sure we’re ready to showcase Christmas decorations they will truly treasure.
“The fact that we’re also going to sell some of our most requested Christmas food lines from Friday, for the first time ever, complements the Christmas selection that we make available in the summer perfectly. This new extension is simply addressing growing demand for convenience Christmas shopping outside the traditional season from many of our customers.”
“These 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. They also tell us that they like to be able to take their pick of the very best selection available when the range we offer is at its most comprehensive.”
The retailer also officially launched the theme of its Christmas campaign yesterday, entitled “With Love From…” (www.housewareslive.net/selfridges-unwraps-first-details-of-christmas-campaign/) which ‘pays tribute to the cultural heritage and resilience of the three inspiring cities’ that Selfridges calls home: London (which opened in 1909,), Manchester Trafford (1998), Manchester Exchange Square (2002) and Birmingham (2003).
Across all four stores, Selfridges will unveil a selection of exclusive creations ‘inspired by the vibrant spirit of the modern metropolis’, spanning home and technology, food, beauty, fashion, accessories and kids.
In-store entertainment during the festive season will include dance-offs with Santa, ‘the Moment of Merry’ when confetti will shower down through each store, and live performances throughout a 10-day ‘Let’s Make Merry’ celebration at the end of November.