Friday, 7 November 2014

THIS IS THE YEAR


Christmas really is the most magical time of year. London's turned crisp, hats and scarfs are out and evenings are best spent in a pub with a log fire.  But imagine if there wasn't a Christmas next year. Imagine if Selfridges had no festive window. Imagine if Starbucks had no red cups. If the year was to pass by without a John Lewis advert that bought a tear to your eye.

Last night London's Oxford St turned on their Christmas lights and the festive High St was opened for another year. The British High St is a true treasure and I for one am guilty of not visiting it quite as often as I should. It really is 'use it or lose it'. It takes just a few tiny adjustments to support our great industry and wouldn't it be brilliant to hear some great sales figures from everyone in January not about more brands having to close their doors forever.

So let's all try the following. Rather than that glass of wine at home with the laptop embrace the later opening hours and pop to stores after work. The music and beautiful displays will soon get you in the mood. You can even stop off for a mulled wine in between. If the shop staff have to work late at least we can support them.

Number two is plan better. I hate shopping at Christmas because I've usually left it too late for online deliveries. It's busy and I still have no idea what to get people. Instead get together a list of ideas and possible stores early and make sure you get in before the rush. Give yourself time to enjoy the department stores and browse the boutiques. I am putting my list together this week and planning trips accordingly so I can enjoy the lights and pick up some mince pies and a bauble or two at the same time.

Lastly pick British brands where possible or at least retailers found in our towns and cities. Visit shops you'd usually pass by to see how they have moved on and discover new products and exclusives. Treat yourself to something a bit different.

Marks and Spencer is one of these great brands that we should be embracing. They are part of our history and our heritage. After a recent shopping trip to the store I left with the most wonderful goodies and a smile that it was money well spent. The butter soft leather skirts in black and silver, the palest snowy pastel cashmere polos, the 60s grey suede ankle boots and the mini pigs in blankets with a cranberry dipping sauce were all delicious!

So even if you just give it a go, close that laptop, grab a friend or loved one and go see the lights. Save our High St this Christmas.






All at Marks & Spencer









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