What do you do for the rest of the year? – a year in the life of ChristmasTimeUK
If there’s one question the team at ChristmasTimeUK are asked time and time again it’s “what do you do for the rest of the year?”
As a Christmas specialist selling all things Christmassy it’s not an unreasonable question, but if you think we put our feet up for nine months of the year, think again.
Behind ChristmasTimeUK is a dedicated team of 13 people in roles including sales, project management, graphic design, marketing and warehousing, all of whom work non-stop round the clock for 365 days a year to make Christmas what it is.
Here’s a brief insight into a year in the life of ChristmasTimeUK.
We’re open all-year round
Whilst we specialise in Christmas and receive most orders during this time, we are in fact open all year.
Our products are suitable for all seasonal celebrations and we receive orders for anything and everything, from Easter and Halloween to birthdays and weddings. Our extensive trade customer base includes event organisers, theme parks, cruise liners, retailers, hotels, restaurants, campsites and theatre companies – all of who choose ChristmasTimeUK for our quality products, great pricing, reliable delivery and excellent customer service.
Dismantling and storing commercial schemes
The New Year kicks off pretty hectically. During the first few weeks of the new year, our Projects team are busy dismantling the commercial decoration displays which we installed the previous season in shopping centres across the UK.
Our warehouse team then spend time over the next few months testing every product and making repairs where necessary before carefully placing them in storage for the forthcoming season.
Christmasworld and trade exhibitions
At the end of January we visit the biggest Christmas trade exhibition in the world, Christmasworld in Frankfurt. Christmasworld is a huge show and a great opportunity to meet up with new and existing suppliers as well as gain a sneak peek of the hottest new trends and products for the year.
We also attend the UK equivalent in Harrogate, Harrogate Christmas & Gift 2019, which again allows us to identify the best products for our customers and meet with our UK partners.
In early February, we always take the time to visit our wonderful existing suppliers. One of the highlights of the year is a visit to Kaemingk’s amazing 5500m2 showroom in the Netherlands which is like stepping into a magical Christmas wonderland crammed with over 14,000 products. Here we gain loads of inspiration for the forthcoming year and identify new products which we think our customers will love.
Shopping Centre tenders
Believe it or not, shopping centres actually start thinking about Christmas at the beginning of the year, in February and March. During this time, our Projects team are invited to tender for new commercial Christmas displays. This process typically involves a briefing meeting, site visit and survey before we start to develop concepts and designs for consideration. If we’re successful in winning the contract we will then spend the next few months working closely with the client to tweak and finalise the designs.
Building commercial schemes
Once the designs for new shopping centre displays have been finalised, we work closely with our suppliers to turn these into reality. Our partner Idolight in Italy help build bespoke lighting motifs for our displays while our warehouse team work tirelessly throughout the summer months to fulfil each commercial order, from identifying the right colour baubles and sourcing elves for grottos to handcrafting garlands.
Purchasing new items
Throughout the summer months we finalise our orders of baubles, lights, garlands and accessories with our suppliers. When they are delivered we are constantly adding new arrivals to our websites for our customers to snap up.
Fulfilling customers’ orders
Towards the end of Summer, we start to see an increase in orders from both trade and retail customers kick-starting their Christmas preparations. Orders spike from the end of October until the end of November, where on a typical day we will send out over seven hundred orders! This doesn’t stop until just a few days before Christmas!
Installation begins, again
Our Projects team hit the road again from mid-October right through to the middle of December, working tirelessly throughout the night erecting decoration displays in over 30 shopping centres across the country. During this time our team increases to over 30 members of staff, many of who work with us every year. It’s all hands to the pump at this time of year, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team we always come through the other side.
After a hectic period we can finally look forward to Christmas ourselves, before doing it all again from January. At ChristmasTimeUK it really is Christmas every day!
Oh, one last thing, in case you wondered, we have our Christmas party in January!