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Xmas kicks off on 2 August

Selfridges heads towards year-long Yule

Business security measures using SSL

The Xmas season will this year begin on 2 August - at least in one corner of London's Oxford Street.

That's the date on which Selfridges will start its 2010 Yule campaign, having last year started flogging baubles and tinsel on 8 August. This time around, eager customers can stock up on "trees, crackers, fairy lights or even a £500 life-size donkey", the BBC explains.

The justification for this premature commercialisation is that Selfridges claims "previous sales had shown some customers, especially overseas tourists, started thinking about Christmas during August".

Those of you who suspect that in years to come Xmas will begin on Boxing Day, allowing stores an uninhibited 364 days to shove seasonal goodwill down weary punters' throats, have good reason to fear the worst.

Geraldine James, Selfridges Christmas Shop's buying manager, warned: "Christmas is coming earlier each year. I can see a time when we offer a capsule Christmas collection throughout the year." ®

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