Harrods opens Christmas department
Father Christmas has arrived a full 151 days early as Harrods opened its festive department to cater for summer visitors from abroad.
It is the earliest ever launch of the London store's Christmas World department to coincide with the influx of international visitors, with the opening ceremony of the Olympics just a day away.
Father Christmas arrived at the Knightsbridge store in a Union Jack-clad Jaguar to officially open the new 8,000 square foot department to the public.
Inside the store he unveiled a giant snowglobe village, a pop-up gingerbread Harrods, a mountaintop ski chalet and a replica of the Tower of London that will house a set of Christmas crackers priced at £1,299.
David Miller, the director of Harrods Home, said: "We have return shoppers from all over the globe visiting for the annual summer unveiling of Christmas World.
"As unusual as it may seem to open a Christmas department so early on in the year, the department is always one of our most popular and requested for by shoppers who want to buy decorations as souvenirs or gifts. Some of our international customers may only visit the UK once this year and so the summer opening of Christmas World is to cater for this seasonal demand.
"Indeed this year we have also trialled a capsule Christmas collection which we launched back in May which has already performed extremely well."