Posted on 01 November 2015
Hello, and welcome to the first of my 'Christmas at Barretts' blogs. As we lead up to Christmas I'll being giving you a flavour of the many ranges of wonderful decorations and gifts that this time of year so special. For me Christmas is all about gathering the family home, and making your home a festive paradise. (I'm trying not to think about all that cooking at the moment, just the fuzzy warm bits for now...).
For this issue I thought I'd give you an overview of our themes. I know I did this in my preview blog back on 10th October, but it's now time to see how they turned out. Don't forget you get also get a flavour of what's available on our Christmas website store. All our snow globes are on there, and products are being added daily.
Before I start though I want to give massive thank you to all our fabulous staff who came in last Sunday to 'make the magic'. It's always great fun, but make no mistake it's also very hard, physical work, and a very long day.
Special mentions to Glynis for bringing in lunch for the troops - delicious as ever, and my Mum, co-founder of Barretts of course, for the super sausage rolls (Michael had 8, yes 8!). Big cheers too for Sam for all her amazing work in creating the main window displays, plus the 'Nutcracker' display. Finally, biggest 'hurrah' of all for the undisputed Barretts Queen of Christmas - Sue. Every year Sue has the job of sorting all our stock into our Christmas themes (think a billion cardboard boxes and tonnes of glitter), and generally project managing the day along with Assistant Manager Louis. And she manages to stay sane (just). Amazing job Sue! To see more of 'Christmas behind the scenes at Barretts', take a look at the blog Ben put together earlier this week.
Those of you who are keen Barretts observers will have noticed that we've put a stage and partition wall in our main window for this year, and we've done this for two reasons. First, it makes for a more intimate, controllable area, which we can light better and create a more focused display. It also allows us to create a brand new retail area behind the wall, where we can display decorations, snow globes, garlands, stocking, wreathes and lights all in one place, making choice much easier for you the customer. It's work in progress - we still have more stock to put on display, but I think it looks great and the customer feedback has been excellent.
A word about stock levels, particularly snow globes. Unfortunately it's very rare that we can get more Christmas stock in, so once something has sold out, that's generally it. This is especially true of our famous Christmas Musical Snow Globes, and whilst we've got an awful lot more in this year and more varieties (and I'll be doing a blog just on snow globes), we sell out every year. Honest! So don't delay...
So, let's talk themes.
This 'alpine' based theme has grown in popularity over the last three years, and it gets the main display window for 2015. Lots of ski decorations, wooden alpine churches and villages, faux fur rugs, cow bell decorations, skate decorations, and cuddly reindeer.
Again a theme which has gained in popularity, with bristly hedgehogs, deer, foxes, cats, owls, squirrels, rabbits, pheasants and wolves (don't worry, they all get on fine). Plus there's toadstools, cone garlands, and berry trees.
I particularly like the snowy trees which make for a dramatic winter display. It can be seen in our front window display, just to the right of the front door.
This is has been the enduring theme for Christmas. Who doesn't dream of a white Christmas? OK, snow plough drivers probably don't but for the rest of us this is the dream Christmas, especially if you live in a warm southern county like Suffolk where it snows once every 4 years! Usually in February too...
This year we have a beautiful silver and white themed display in our side window, with white cones, silver kasbah decorations, frosted mistletoe, white stags, white feathered birds, white feathered angels, and glass icicle decorations. I love this display, just enchanting - well done to Vicki and Sue for creating something special here.
New for this year, this theme has lots of lovely metal heart decorations with Victorian Christmas scenes, gold and red berry decorations, golden feathered pheasants, and gorgeous green and gold glass baubles. It's finished off nicely with red wooden 'Noel' hanging signs, and can be seen in our Carpets and Flooring Department window.
The main theme from last year, Nutcracker makes a welcome return in our main showroom stage. Lots of musical Nutcracker soldiers, Nutcracker tree decorations and stockings, and even Nutcracker Christmas Musical Snow Globes.
Those are the main themes, but of course there's a awful lot more to see, and I've included a few photos below to give a flavour of what's on offer:
That's it for this week, hope to see you enjoying some early Christmas cheer in the store soon!