On Thursday 26 July 2012, only 151 days before the time, Santa Claus himself has arrived in London to open the Harrods festive department. The earliest ever launch “Christmas World” department was unveiled to coincide with the increase of tourists for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dressed in his distinctive red winter clothes, complete with sunglasses, Santa Claus arrived in a Jaguar painted in Union Jack colours, to officially open the new 8,000 square foot department to the public. “Christmas World” department will have a festive display at its centre incorporating a snowglobe village, a pop-up gingerbread Harrods shopfront, a full-size alpine ski chalet and even a replica of the Tower of London.
David Miller, a director at the Knightsbridge store, said “As unusual as it may seem to open a Christmas department so early on in the year, the department is always one of our most popular and requested for by shoppers who want to buy decorations as souvenirs or gifts. Some of our international customers may only visit the UK once this year and so the summer opening of Christmas World is to cater for this seasonal demand.”
Inside the tower will be its most expensive set of crackers – Crown Jewel Crackers worth £1,299 ($2,050), that will contain gifts such as a luxury Italian silk scarf, Italian silk tie, Queen Victoria Collette drop pendant and matching earrings, leather coin wallet and matching pen, a silver-plated stationery set and a Swarovski crystalline pen and USB.
Harrod has 14 years long history of opening Christmas World in the summer, but this year the opening date is the earliest ever for the retailer.