Selfridges opens Christmas store
Selfridges has opened its Christmas store - with only 142 shopping days left to buy all the celebration's essentials.
The department store claims to be the first in the world to launch its Christmas shop, with the North Pole-themed space set to welcome shoppers dressed for the height of the British summer.
More than 700 sq feet of space on the fourth floor of the London flagship has been decked out with more than 100,000 Christmas decorations, expected at this stage to appeal mainly to tourists wanting to take home a memento.
Bestsellers are expected to be British designs featuring London themes and the Union flag, in particular a glass Union Jack bauble made by Czechoslovakian artisans, anticipated to be this year's number one selling item.
Customers can choose from more than 300 different crackers, almost 450 Christmas tree styles and some 200 different styles of decorations.
The shop is set to sell 46,500 decorations and wreaths, 11,700 wrap and gift tags, 29,000 cards, 4,600 crackers and 650 lights and trees.
Some 2,000 Selfridges Union Jack baubles are sold on average every Christmas.
The store's Christmas home and decorations buyer, Geraldine James, said: "Despite the summer weather, we're in full festive mode here at Selfridges.
"We've been working on this year's Christmas Shop since Christmas last year. We have so many customers visiting from all over the world and eager to snap up festive souvenirs on their summer holidays, which they can't buy at home. We have to make sure we're ready to showcase the Christmas decorations they will truly treasure."