"Selfridges has become the first department store in the world to launch its Christmas shop – a full 143 (as at 3 Aug) shopping days before the big day.
Christmas came early to the iconic British department store which transformed 3,000 square feet of its fourth floor into an Arctic wonderland filled with festive treasures and glittering decorations.
Even Father Christmas was present, having taken a day's break from his North Pole workshop to welcome shoppers and make a few purchases of his own.
Geraldine James, Selfridges Christmas Home & Decorations Buyer, 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. "So, we have to make sure we're ready to showcase Christmas decorations they will truly treasure."
For shoppers who like to plan ahead, trends for Christmas 2015 include personalised decorations, black and white monochrome and 'Magical Forest', which includes wood-based decorations and woodland creatures. The store also revealed that this year's Christmas theme is 'Journey to the Stars', with a special line of decorations called 'Moonlight Magic' launched today.
The shop's very first customers, Holly and Ken Martin, from Pennsylvania, USA, bought a Christmas 2015 bauble to mark their UK holiday.
Each of the thousands of Selfridges glass baubles was designed exclusively for the store and was individually mouth-blown from one carefully-selected supplier in Hungary.
The second phase of the shop's opening will be in Autumn, when the floor space devoted to all things festive will be more than doubled to 60,000 square feet. Open fully, the winter wonderland will include more than 60,000 baubles, 120+ cracker options, and 1,250+ different cards and wrapping paper designs.
But for now, it's all hands on deck – especially for the man in charge. When asked if he shouldn't be taking it easy in August, the man with the beard said: "Relaxing? Oh I'm afraid not. "Christmas is all year round – I do take a little break in January but now is build up time, getting ready for the big day."
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All the best Jan