Sorry to use the C-word so early in November, but we're now well and truly into the Christmas shopping 'zone'. When you consider that 34% of all books are sold in the final three months of the year (and almost a quarter in the November/December period), you can understand why everyone goes a bit bonkers in retail in the run-up to Christmas. It really can be make or break.
Last year we didn't really know what to expect, and the festive season hit us like a particularly overloaded sleigh. This year, we feel a bit more prepared.
So it was with nervous anticipation that we kicked off the seasonal spendfest in style last night with our "Champagne and Stollen" Christmas Shopping Event:
The invites had been sent out, I was dressed in my Christmas waistcoat, and the shop was decked out in its Christmas finery. We're not actually putting up decorations until the end of November, but there were a few subtle hints dotted around the place:
The main event of the evening was the launch of our Christmas catalogue. Last year we gave out the standard wholesaler catalogues, but a) as they were a bit cheesy, and b) we didn't actually have that many books from those catalogues in the shop, we thought we might be able to do a bit better by getting reviews and recommends from everyone who works for us and putting them together in our own publication:
We had plenty of champagne and punch, and six different types of stollen (which might have been a tad over the-top) courtesy of Added Ingredients up the road.