Britain spruces up
Giant tree sales soar as families seek to impress on social media
For years, a bushy little spruce wrapped in tinsel and topped with a star was all that was needed to usher in the Christmas spirit.
But now, many families are opting for pre-lit, supersize, artificial trees of up to nine feet tall – all to outdo each other on social media.
Sales statistics from John Lewis suggest people want to dress their homes with towering trees, designed to impress the neighbours and to look good on Instagram. Figures show a boom in demand for trees which are readydressed with hundreds of LED lights – so they can be pulled out of the loft, put up and switched on in a matter of minutes.
Ten years ago, the retailer’s most popular artificial trees were a modest 4ft tall – but the best seller is now 7ft, and some customers even plump for 9ft versions as a centrepiece for the festivities.
Dan Cooper, head Christmas buyer at John Lewis, said: ‘Artificial trees have grown in quality and popularity, and become several feet taller... pre-lit trees are on-trend and this year for the first time they have overtaken un-lit trees.’ And decorating the festive giants has undergone a revolution, with traditional adornments such as stars and angels ditched in favour of showy, statement baubles.
Mr Cooper said they now sell ‘over 400 different types of bauble’ and that the best sellers are ‘not traditional Christmas baubles but birds, foxes and dinosaurs’. He said tastes have become ‘so much more adventurous and sophisticated’, with customers moving away from the ‘thin bit of red or gold tinsel mixed with some round baubles’ towards more personalised decorations.
And the showiness of the festive season does not stop with trees and decorations. Advent calendars are increasingly offering everything from miniature bottles of gin to cosmetics – replacing the traditional chocolate.
Mr Cooper added: ‘These changes have been driven by a growing culture of entertaining, Instagram and innovation in Christmas decorations which have become much higher in quality... making us more likely to invest in them.’