100 days until Christmas

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Believe it or not but the countdown is officially on – today is 100 days until Christmas.

Some of us might still be unpacking from our summer holidays, but Sheffielders admit they’re already starting to think about the festive season.

Shopper Jamie Walls, aged 24, from Gleadless, who works in retail, said: “I started my Christmas shopping last week!

“I like to be prepared and to have finished buying ahead of the Christmas rush.

“I’ve seen tinsel stocked on some stalls already.”

Other telltale signs that Santa is coming are about to start cropping up around the city anytime soon.

Independent department store Atkinsons already has its Christmas stock stored securely in its warehouse, ready to launch in early October.

Store manager Graham Firth said: “We have toys in the store all year round, but from the beginning of October we will start rolling out our Christmas stock.

“As a small, independent store we find that customers do look to us for individual gifts and decorations that they wouldn’t find in larger stores.

“Our customers start their Christmas shopping in October, with peak season hitting the last week in November and first week in December.”

John Lewis at Barker’s Pool is also preparing to reveal its seasonal offering at the beginning of October – which, for the first time in the department store’s history, will include real Christmas trees.

Customers can order their tree on the John Lewis website and have it delivered direct to their door from the beginning of November.

James Prince, head of branch at John Lewis Sheffield, said: “This week the second most searched-for item on johnlewis.com has been ‘Christmas’, so customers have definitely shown an interest early.

“Our Christmas Shop, which will be located on the third floor, will open on Wednesday, October 1.

“People are always determined to make Christmas special and, once again, John Lewis will provide a range of inspirational products, coupled with exceptional customer service and our never knowingly undersold policy, to ensure our shoppers have everything they need for Christmas.”

Butchers at the Moor Market are gearing up for the festive season too, as they prepare to submit their turkey orders to ensure the city’s demand for big birds is met.

John Galley, owner of Slattery’s, expects to sell around 150 turkeys during December.

He said: “We have to plan our order in October so that we’re prepared for when customers place their orders from the beginning of December.

“Many of them take advantage of our Christmas saving scheme that allows them to spread the cost by putting away money throughout the year.

“And turkey breast instead of the full bird is quite popular, as it allows people to buy the amount of meat they require instead of a full bird.”