No, no, no: BT’s Christmas shop couldn’t be open already, could it?

Retailer ‘responding to customer demand’ for Christmas shop in August

Brown Thomas opens its dedicated festive shop on Dublin’s Grafton Street on August 17th, 130 days before Christmas. Video: Kathleen Harris


Happy Christmas everyone! Too early? Brown Thomas certainly doesn’t think so and is dangerously close to making Wizzard’s wish that it could be Christmas every day come true.

It opened its dedicated festive shop on Dublin’s Grafton St on Thursday morning, a full 130 sleeps before Santa Claus starts ho ho hoing his way down from the North Pole.

While it is absolutely not the season to be jolly - and not even remotely close to it - the upmarket retailer was entirely unapologetic about giving over a large chunk of the top floor of its flagship outlet to Christmas .

Many of the shoppers coming up the escalators to the top floor of Brown Thomas looked entirely bemused by the sight of all the Christmas trees, snow globes, baubles and the twinkling fairy lights as group buyer Edel Woods defended the move.

“It may seem absurd to some people but others will love it. I think it is a real Marmite thing. What we are doing is responding to customer demand,” she said.

“We do get complaints but sometimes you see people giving out about how early the shop has opened while they are putting the Christmas decorations in their baskets.

While August might seem just a little early to be thinking about Christmas, Woods has had it on her mind since January when she starting her Christmas shopping on behalf of the store.

The baubles range in price from €4 to €18 while a complicated-looking gold carousel which lights up and plays Christmas music as it moves is selling for €400.

Speaking of Christmas music, the good news for shoppers - and more importantly staff - is that Brown Thomas will hold off on piping a suitably festive soundtrack throughout the store until the middle of October.

By then many of the highly priced trees will be gone, said Woods. The fake plastic trees are always a big seller despite costing between €225 and €350.

“I’ve just come in with my daughter and her first question to me was why are the Christmas decorations up mammy?,” said Louise Miller from Dublin. “It will probably mean the run-in to Christmas seems longer for kids I suppose but I love it and I always buy at least just one decoration at this time of year,” she said.

Her daughter Sophie, who was celebrating her seventh birthday, was more confused than anything else. “I haven’t really thought about it yet,” she said when asked if she knew what she wanted from Santa.

A woman from Cork who asked to be identified only as Mary hasn’t written her letter to Santa yet either. And she won’t be for quite some time.

“It’s a disgrace,” she fumed. “I think it’s way too early, the kids haven’t even gone back to school. We haven’t even taken our summer holidays yet. I refuse to talk to whether even think about Christmas until after Holloween.”

In case you are wondering - and you probably shouldn’t be - the two big Christmas themes this year will be old-school Christmas cards in reds, greens and golds with the hot new bauble colour likely to be navy. Woods also said mint and champagne colours will be big this year. You read it here first. Sadly.