Christmas is coming…

Retailers get busy on the festive front as last international posting dates begin to loom

 

This week marked less than 100 days to Christmas and greeting card retailers across the country are already busy on the festive countdown.

From Edinburgh, through the Isle Of Man, and all the way down to Bath and the West Country, displays of Christmas cards are already out there, ready for people who want to make sure their festive messages catch the international delivery dates.

Above: Chris Beards has a big Christmas display at Mantons
Above: Chris Beards has a big Christmas display at Mantons

With Royal Mail’s international economy deadline already passed on 12 September for non-European destinations unless specified, Brits with friends and family abroad are keen to get their cards in the post – the last recommended posted dates are below.

Chris Beards, co-owner of Mantons in Port Erin on the Isle Of Man, said: “We know a lot of our customers have family and friends all over the world. So, with that in mind, and for all of you who’ve been asking – our first Christmas cards are now out on display!!

“This is only a small part of the huge display that’s to follow soon but hopefully enough choice for now, and, if not, please ask the team. We’re always happy to help you find the design you really want.”

IG Design Group is aiming to put the bang into Christmas and showcasing its Premium crackers from its Tom Smith brand, that are sustainable and also raise money for The Trussell Trust, and are only available for a limited time.

Above: Ling Design’s distribution centre (left & centre) is Christmas crazy, and Glick is festive full too
Above: Ling Design’s distribution centre (left & centre) is Christmas crazy, and Glick is festive full too

Bradford-based Glick is busy on the festive product delivery front, with containers of stock arriving in the Yorkshire sunshine only to be dispatched to its retail customers pretty quickly, and Ling Design has been sending out orders from its distribution hub to the UK and worldwide since mid-August, currently dispatching an extra 100 pallets each day.

At Cards & Gifts Dronfield, co-owner Carl Dunne is advertising Christmas card packs at less than half-price, £2.50 for a box of six, while Tim Thacker at the Card Collection in Bath made sales of several Christmas Jellycat items over the weekend after putting out the first of the festive displays.

Above & top: Dean Morris was among the publishers reminding people of the time of year
Above & top: Dean Morris was among the publishers reminding people of the time of year

The Beverley Card Company has Noel Tatt’s eight-pack of luxury Christmas cards as part of its current stock with owner Donna Stocks saying “hurry, these won’t last long”, and The Christian Bookshop in Rugby already has a wall of festive designs out for customers to choose from.

Jo Barber set out her Christmas stall online at No.14 Ampthill on Sunday, 17 September, starting with a clear out of stock, including cards, decorations, and baubles at “silly prices”.

She said: “Christmas in September? No, we haven’t gone mad! This past few months we’ve been planning our Christmas displays and every year I wish we had more space.

Above: Tom Smith limited edition crackers from IG Design Group, and The Christian Bookshop’s wall of cards
Above: Tom Smith limited edition crackers from IG Design Group, and The Christian Bookshop’s wall of cards

“This year we’re approaching Christmas slightly differently, all will be revealed soon, but it means we need to say cheeri-hohoho to items left over from last year. There’s nothing wrong with them, in fact some didn’t even make it to the shop floor as we ran out of space, or it might just be that we have one or two items left and we can’t make an exciting display with them.”

And Michael Apter has opened the online Christmas shop for his trio of Paper Tiger stores in Edinburgh too, offering advent calendars, cards, wrap, gifts, and chocolate.

Above: Paper Tiger and No.14 Ampthill have Christmas online shops live
Above: Paper Tiger and No.14 Ampthill have Christmas online shops live

They’re in good company as Selfridges is always among the first retailers to get all festive and its annual Christmas Shop was opened across the lower ground floor of the Oxford Street department store this week – and it’s claimed to be its biggest yet.

For retailers who want to get ahead of the Christmas curve it definitely looks like now is the time to get started with setting out those festive cards and products – and you’d better get a move on as there are now only 97 days until December 25!

Royal Mail’s last recommended posting dates are:

International Economy

All non-European destinations unless listed below – 12 September

Middle and Far East, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa – 14 October

Canada and USA – 31 October

Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta, Turkey – 25 November

Western Europe – 28 November

International Standard

Australia and New Zealand – 28 November (tracking and signature services 1 December)

China – Monday, 28 November (T&SS 2 December)

All remaining Caribbean destinations – 2 December (T&SS 5 December)

Africa, Asia (except China) Central and South America, Far and Middle East – 1 December (T&SS 5 December)

Cyprus and Malta – 2 December (T&SS 6 December)

Greece, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and Turkey – 3 December (T&SS 8 December)

Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA and Canada – 5 December (T&SS 9 December)

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland – 7 December (T&SS 10 December)

Belgium, France, Luxembourg – 9 December (T&SS 12 December)

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