For those of you that aren’t aware, the Happy Christmas head office is based in Tonbridge, a quaint little market town based about half way between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks in the South East of England.
Tonbridge holds a few distinct landmarks including: a medieval castle, the river Medway, Tonbridge School, and, oh yeah, the site for the largest robbery ever to take place in England!
Our office is just a 10 minute walk away from where the biggest heist in England took place, a £53 million ($106m) raid on a Securitas depot. Yesterday announced the news that five men have been convicted of kidnap, robbery and firearm charges. Sentencing takes place on Tuesday.
Our new website, laptops, company cars and office expansion is a pure coincidence, I was in the office all day!
Most people are now checking their bank balances and working out the exact cost of Christmas. A quick tally up around the HC office proves that like most people we seem to have spent way more than anticipated (as per usual!)
UK retailers recorded their worst December figures since 2004 according to The British Retail Consortium. However, e-consultancy.com recorded the opposite for online traders who experienced a bouyant Christmas, fuelled by customers seeking a good deal.
Now for the stats…
4.4 million people in the UK spent a total of £84 million on Christmas Day, 269% more than last year with an average of £19.09 per person. While in the US £14.9 billion was spent in December up 19% on last year.
Did you know that nearly 3.5 million UK online shoppers are expected to spend in the region of £50 million on Christmas day, tomorrow, according to the e-tailing trade body Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).
The online shopping rush is expected to start late afternoon, generally after the Queens speech, with peak times between 8 - 10PM.
Online sales on the ‘big day’ this year are expected to be 66% higher than last year, brought on by the sale of top up gifts associated with products like the iPod, with people logging on to buy songs on iTunes.
In a warm hearted gesture (or a cunning publicity ploy!) leading hoteliers Travelodge are offering up free rooms over the Christmas period to any married couples named Mary and Joseph.
Festive couples can spend a night in any Travelodge hotel from Christmas Eve to January 5th 2008, providing, couples are married and have identity to prove so.
All that is left to be seen is if Travelodge have enough spare rooms to cope with the extra business, and if not? There is always the old failsafe… the stable!
We hope you don’t mind but we analyzed 1000 of your Christmas ecard greeting messages to see what you are using as your favoured festive terms.
Well although our site is aptly named HappyChristmas.com it seems that 64% of you signed off Merry Christmas, 30% were loyal customers and used Happy Christmas while the remaining 6% used other terms like Happy Holidays.
We also found that our most popular ecard sent this year was our Festive Scene
Have a Happy Christmas!
Christmas is always an anxious time for animal welfare groups as they see an influx of unwanted cats, dogs guinea pigs etc. A recent article published in the Sunday Herald reported a slightly different version of the problem currently facing the Northern Territory in Australia. Abandoned baby crocodiles!!
At £130 each these cute baby reptiles are snapped up in their masses over the Christmas period, however, it becomes apparent that these reptiles do not stay small and cute for very long, with salt water crocodiles capable of growing up to 20ft in length!! Once they reach 30 inches in length it is a legal requirement for the owner to return the croc to the farm or pet shop that it was purchased from, but with no real incentive to do so it is common place for these animals to get released into the suburban jungle.
It is not uncommon to spot crocodiles outside shopping centres, on golf courses, in suburban streets or in town centres! No wonder online shopping is taking off down under!!
A recent article published in the Sunday Herald highlighted that the UK is expected to become the biggest online retail market in Europe with over 27 million people expected to buy something on the internet this year.
With total online sales in the UK set to reach £40 billion this year it is predicted to only get better for online retailers. Figures are expected to quadruple to over £160 billion by the year 2020 accounting for 40% of all UK retail sales.
As a general rule online retailers have lower overheads so the best thing is, consumers could save more than £13 billion a year by shopping online! However, with only 11 online shopping days to go until Christmas time is running out!
For a second year running UK high streets have completely sold out of the Nintendo Wii. Consumers are now desperately scouring the web in order to find the jewel in the crown of Christmas presents this year.
The Wii Console in the UK normally retails for £179 ($360) however online with auction sites like ebay, Wiis are exchanging hands at over £350 ($700) with one desperate buyer reportedly paying over £2500 ($5000) for one!!
We use a couple of games consoles providers for our Happy Christmas shop, so if you are looking to buy one give these a try. But make sure to let us know your stories and how you are get on!
A particularly dry summer this year has left Sydney, Australia with a huge shortage of real Christmas Trees as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald today.
With the Christmas tree season beginning this weekend, growers have reported that their crops would be up to 75% smaller than previous years due to the dry conditions over the last year.
The Aussie phrase “up the gumtree” springs to mind!
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in Great Britain has put a restriction on the movement of reindeers and other livestock this winter due to the latest outbreak of bluetongue disease.
With events and celebrations up and down the country looking set to be cancelled it leaves one big questions, how is Santa going to deliver his presents? He could always consider, the Tube, BA, or by Bus. However knowing what transport is like on the British Isles kids will still be waiting in March!
Don’t worry kids, I am sure Dasher , Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph will all be fine!