It’s only mid-August, but Brown Thomas is counting down to Christmas.
The chain has opened its Christmas shop in branches in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
The department store, which houses its Christmas shop on the third floor of its Dublin location, has hired 500 seasonal workers to prepare for Christmas customers.
A diverse selection of gifts and ornaments, from garlands to a €5,000 play station, are available for purchase.
In the last few days people have been coming up to me asking when our Christmas shop will open
The third floor features a mix of decorations and shines brightly with multicolored tree lights, giant red nutcrackers, and miniature carousels that spin endlessly.
The latter was a particular favorite of a little girl filled with anxious glee at the upcoming celebrations.
The opening of the store marks the beginning of the wait for Christmas, but for some it could not have come sooner.
“We’re really opening it to keep up with the tradition of opening in August.
“For the past few days, people have been coming up to me asking when our Christmas shop will be open,” said one of the employees as they gave out free chocolates.
Though it seems a little strange opening a Christmas department in August, Claire Charlton, the seasonal department’s buyer, said people were eager to get their Christmas shopping done.
“Actually, we have a huge demand,” she said. “Just yesterday people were trying to climb the rope to find baubles and decorations.
“We find that our customers like to come early for inspiration.
“We see a lot of tourists in Dublin, so they like to take a little bit home with them.”
According to her, the best seller this year is likely to be a toy train that goes around the Christmas tree and serves as a decoration.
But not everyone is so sure that August is the right time to open a holiday shop.
I’m buying my gifts at the last minute, probably in the last two or three weeks
Iona, a curious shopper, made her way to the third floor, shocked to find that a Christmas tree was already there.
“I came up and saw the tree and I thought, ‘What month is it today? Why is the Christmas tree up so early? Then I saw everything else and I thought, that doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“I wouldn’t really think about buying Christmas presents that early. I’m buying my presents at the last minute, probably in the last two or three weeks.’
The endless selection of products available has been curated into a variety of special themes including ‘Christmas Cheer’, ‘Winter Romance’, ‘Glacier Lake’ and ‘Natural Glow’.
“This year we really went for these impactful pieces,” said Ms. Charlton.
“As soon as you come up the stairs you see the absolutely amazing 16 foot Christmas trees and then it’s all about bringing in the rich velvets and the different colors of the cookies and the chocolate – it looks really beautiful.
“We worked with a local Irish brand and the wreaths and bows are actually all handmade in Dublin.
“We think it is very important to work with local suppliers.
“In our traditional theme we have the Nutcrackers and we’re bringing back that nostalgic feeling and everyone’s getting back together as this will be the first year that’s – hopefully – an uninterrupted Christmas.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/the-countdown-to-santa-gets-under-way-as-brown-thomas-unveils-its-christmas-shop-41921456.html The countdown to Santa begins as Brown Thomas unveils his Christmas shop