Posted on 10 October 2015
This week I thought I'd give you a sneak preview of our preparations and themes for Christmas. In case you didn't know, we go in for Christmas big time. We cover the Linens Department and half the shop with tree and room decorations, wreaths & garlands, gifts, stockings, church and scented candles, tree fairies, Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, Advent Calendars, Christmas tableware and crackers, and the ever popular German Musical Snow Globes.
People come from far and wide to Woodbridge just to see Christmas at Barretts, especially the Christmas window displays. We've had a few in already, but the big date for the Barretts Christmas launch is:
Monday 26th October, 9.00am sharp!
Now some of you might think that is a bit too early, and I can sympathise with that point of view. However, we are certainly not the first retailer to start stocking Christmas, and it's the day after the clocks go back - a sure sign that winter and Christmas is on its way with the darker evenings. Plus there are people who like to plan ahead and buy all things Christmas early, and I mean early!
Not a bad policy as there are usually several products that sell out very quickly. Unfortunately we never know which ones... Last year, as part of our German Musical Snowglobes range, we had six with a delightful LED lit nativity scene and perpetual glitter snow (they have a motor and run on batteries, very clever). They had all sold out within a week i.e. by the 1st November! So the market for the early Christmas shopper exists, and is alive and well in Woodbridge.
When I think of the Barretts Christmas preparations I think of two things:
- So, so many cardboard boxes
- Sue (our Linens Supervisor) surrounded by so, so many cardboard boxes
This year is no different. Michael and I order 75% of our new season Christmas stock at the NEC Spring Show in February. Deliveries star coming in from the end of August (I'm talking pallets of boxes), and the Linens team unpack everything, price it up, and put it all away again. Sue then disappears for several days throughout October to sort the individual ranges into themes and display areas. Then all Barretts staff come in on the last Sunday of the month to dress the shop, with the next day being the grand unveiling of the Christmas Wonderland that is Barretts.
This year's themes contain some old favourites, plus a few new ones. The main theme will be 'ski chalet'. The Alpine theme started a few years ago and its popularity has rapidly grown. Expect lots of ski and ice-skating themed decorations, pine-cone garlands, LED lit alpine village models and faux fur throws (it gets cold in the mountains at night).
Vintage is new for this year. Lots of red and gold, hanging fruits and vintage metal tree decorations. There's also a victorian 'Twelve Day of Christmas' vibe - very traditional.
Woodland Animals makes a welcome return, giving Christmas a more 'back to nature' feel. We have bristly foxes and wolves, mini glitter trees, squirrel and dragon-fly tree decorations, furry owls and deers, and lovely berry and cone garland and wreaths.
After the roaring success of Nutcracker last year, we've brought it back for 2015. Who can fail to be charmed by this perennial festive classic? We have Nutcracker Soldiers galore, plus Nutcracker German Musical Snowglobes.
White Christmas is also a regular favourite, and I've certainly seen a lot more white and silver decorations and garlands on offer from our suppliers. From white reindeer stockings to a gorgeous LED lit glass domed village scene and LED garlands with snow flakes.
We will also have a extended range of German Musical Snow Globes, which Michael is particularly proud of as it was his idea to get them in 4 years ago. Last year we sold several to the USA, and all but one type sold out. So don't delay - if you see a snow globe you like on-line or in the shop, don't hang about. Once they're gone, they gone...
Below are a few photos of the Linens ladies getting things ready for the big day (Monday 26th October), and of course Sue with her endless boxes!
PS Watch out for our ads in Coastal Scene, EADT, Essential Suffolk and Suffolk Magazine throughout November and December, plus we'll have lots of super Christmas goodies available to buy on our website (www.barretts.co.uk). But best to plan in a visit to our store to get the full Christmas effect! See you next week.
Barretts Christmas Queen Sue is her natural habitat in October
Here's some Christmas things I sorted earlier...
German Musical Snow Globe Chief Tester Hannah with one of new models for 2015
Vicky (H) with a tree fairy, both looking very angelic
Vicky (B) and Daisy with a funky ski cushion
Me and Daisy with a tiny sample of what we've got for Christmas this year