Summer Christmas tree sales soar amid fears of rising costs

Summer Christmas tree sales are skyrocketing as buyers prepare early amid fears of rising costs

  • Having artificial tree sales at John Lewis inflated compared to this time last year
  • Data shows that searches for “artificial Christmas trees” have increased by 122 percent
  • Selfridges said demand for Christmas decorations has increased

Christmas tree sales at John Lewis have skyrocketed as buyers fear rising costs and rising bills and prepare early for the big day.

Retail executives said this suggests households are looking to spread costs as they brace for winter spending pressures.

Others also said buyers may be nervous that inflation could reach festive areas and it will be cheaper to buy now rather than wait.

Sales of the department store chain’s artificial trees are up 400 percent compared to the same point last year. Boss Pippa Wicks said: “We are already selling Christmas trees. People are getting ready for Christmas.” She suggested that some consumers “spread the cost of Christmas – buy the tree now and get the presents on Black Friday”.

Sales of the department store chain's artificial trees are up 400 percent compared to the same point last year

Sales of the department store chain’s artificial trees are up 400 percent compared to the same point last year

Google data showed that searches for “artificial Christmas trees” increased 122 percent in the week leading up to August 20.

Mac Harman, the boss of luxury artificial Christmas tree retailer Balsam Hill, which sells some trees for more than £2,000, said he also saw an increase in sales compared to last year.

“It is clear that the UK is continuing to think ahead this year when it comes to Christmas to ensure it is able to make the most of the first ‘normal’ Christmas in years,” he said. The festive period has been marred by Covid restrictions for the past two years.

Selfridges said it has seen demand for Christmas ornaments and advent calendars increase, with online searches by customers for both ranges up by a fifth in the last two weeks compared to a year earlier. The chain will start selling its Christmas baskets this week. The most expensive costs 500 euros.

Other stores, including Sainsbury’s, have already started selling Christmas cakes and mince pies in some branches. A major food retailer said it has started to ramp up sales of festive foods “gradually” but expects demand to “pick up” later this month.

Another retail executive said families were unsure of what disposable income they would have over the next few months and expected to spread the cost over “the next four paydays”. “People are nervous and don’t want to get caught,” he said.

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Emma Colton

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