Ho no! It may only be August, but one Chorley shop is already bursting at the seams with Christmas stock.
The Card Factory, in Market Walk, has taken delivery of its first Christmas cards, gift bags and money wallets more than 120 days before Santa is set to make his big appearance.
And, although some customers, still decked out in their summer clothes, may be shocked to see the shelves stacked with the festive fancies, others have apparently been eagerly waiting since July for the delivery.
Julie Topping, manager of the shop, said: “Lots of our customers like to spread the cost of Christmas so we make sure we launch our Christmas ranges in plenty of time.
“They seem to be going down very well and customers and staff are enjoying getting in the festive mood.
“We have actually had customers asking us since July when the Christmas stock will be in and so it is very important that we keep up with customer demand.
“Our big Christmas sellers at the moment are relative cards – ‘To My Son, To My Daughter – that sort of thing because those are items which people can buy now, tuck away and know they will definitely use when the time comes.
“I think this type of early Christmas shopping does suit a lot of customers, particularly older shoppers, who don’t enjoy being out in the shops in the thick of the Christmas rush, but rather like to take their time choosing what they want to buy at a time when it is not so busy.
“I think people are also trying to avoid having to pay out a lot of money for Christmas in one go because we all know it can be a very expensive time of year.”
Traditionally, festive stock tends to creep into shops in September, but Christmas has certainly come early with the cards already being on show
Sandra Hawkins, Market Walk manager, said: “Our shoppers look for good value and are trying to avoid over stretching themselves financially later in the year which is a sensible way to shop.
“Market Walk’s retailers are finely tuned to customer needs.
“And so it comes as no surprise at all to me that Card Factory has responded to shopper demand and made sure that Christmas products are already on their shelves.
“We reported recently that the hot summer weather had given sales and footfall a real boost at the centre and long may this continue as the seasons start to change.”