herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Look away now ... it's Christmas in August

Retail

Edel Woods, Group Buyer for Brown Thomas at the launch of their Christmas Market, a dedicated space in each store which has been tranformed into a Winter Wonderland
Edel Woods, Group Buyer for Brown Thomas at the launch of their Christmas Market, a dedicated space in each store which has been tranformed into a Winter Wonderland
Brown Thomas products

Christmas has arrived to Brown Thomas, with giant Nutcracker figurines already being sold at €220 a pop.

It might be four months until Santa arrives in a flurry down the chimney but the luxury store wasn't wasting any time opening their Christmas market.

Children ran around the store picking up glittering ornaments and hugging luxury teddy bears. But not everyone was impressed. "It's only August," some murmured.

DEMAND

However, head buyer Edel Woods said the luxury festive goods are in high demand, even when it's still 20 degrees outside.

"It's customer demand - people like to start their shopping really early," she told the Herald.

But is there a demand for snow globes priced at €175 and ornamental music box trucks that cost €300?

One customer bought two of the giant nutcrackers when the team were setting up the market earlier this week.

"There are customers who might have missed something last year and they like to be in early to make sure they get it," Edel explains.

"There is the perception that we're going to be quite expensive but we're quite competitive - prices start from €3.

"There are a few 'wow' items and stand out pieces that will be of interest to some people and they are on the higher end of the scale.

"Those things are seen as collectables," she added.

One of the store's loyal customers, Moira MacCarthy, admitted people "will think I'm mad" for picking up a few ornaments in August.

"It probably is a bit early but it's nice to have the pick of everything," she said.

The market also appeals to visitors from abroad and the store has followed London's Selfridge's by introducing their own-branded goods.

"There's a lot of tourists around the country at the moment and we find they pick things up as a memory or things they can't get at home," Edel said.

themes

"This year we've brought in some Brown Thomas specific decorations that are hand-embroidered pieces.

"We have a Christmas stocking and a carrot with our branding on it," she added.

The themes for this year's market include the Ice Palace, Venetian winter, I Love Candy and Santa's Journey.

While the Christmas trees are up, it's still too early for Santa Baby to be playing just yet.

"Don't worry, the songs won't be used until after Halloween," Edel said.

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