London Stores Open Christmas Departments Tomorrow. Blame China.

A new addition to the catalogue of strangeness caused by China’s economic rise: Harrods and Selfridges will open their Christmas departments tomorrow, on Thursday, July 28th, just short of five months before C-Day itself, bringing Wizzard’s wish slightly closer to fulfillment.

The stores usually launch Christmas goods in August, but changing consumer trends are behind the move, it is claimed.

Research by Selfridges claims some of the demand has come from China, where the ‘Peking pound’ spent by tourists in the UK has seen a jump in sales for Christmas goods.

China’s fast-growing economy has created a new demand for luxury goods, and research shows many see British Christmas decorations as the perfect souvenirs.

Last year, Selfridges’ Christmas shop sold more than 2,000 baubles in its first seven days.

Wealthy tourists from abroad have contributed to the rise, with international customers at Selfridges increasing by 40 per cent since last year.

See also Evan Osnos’ description of the formidable spending habits of Chinese tourists in Europe in The Grand Tour.

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