• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Inside ‘tinseltown’


Dec 8, 2023

With the Christmas season in full swing, the country is lit up by decorations and illuminations.

But there’s one Welsh town where it’s Christmas all year round.

Festive Productions Ltd is one of the biggest suppliers of Christmas decorations in the UK.

Sky News visited its base in Cwmbran, south Wales, which is located on a site measuring 250,000 square feet.

Its distribution office here has over 16,000 pallet spaces, and its showroom for Christmas 2024 has already opened.

No corner of the showroom is left undecorated, as baubles and bells, tinsel and trees span several rooms.

Each room is intricately decorated to fit a different theme, from candy cane colours to a winter wonderland extravaganza.

For fans of Christmas, it truly is a site to behold – a vibrant celebration of all the festive period’s beloved traditions.

Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Christmas decoration buying patterns have returned “towards normal” this year as energy costs eased, the company said.

It comes after UK inflation fell to a two-year low in November.

Jonathan Hughes is the company’s marketing director.

He told Sky News consumers this year were looking for “fairly traditional” items.

“Christmas lighting has made a bit of a comeback this year,” he said.

“Where people, with the cost of living crisis, have avoided some of those higher ticket items, they’re now looking to buy those again along with Christmas trees, artificial Christmas trees, which weren’t selling so much last year.”

Christmas decorations on display at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Not only are the decorations for next Christmas already on display, planning for the 2025 festive period is also under way.

Mr Hughes said the company analyses data to predict what kind of decorations consumers will be looking for.

“We use a variety of data sources, trend sources, which will look at the trends coming through from fashion, stationery, homewares, interiors and we’ll disseminate that information and use it within our Christmas collections,” he added.

“If you’re buying something from us, you’ll see that trend right throughout different industries, different markets, and it’s making that commercial and not just trend-driven – that’s the key.”

Read more from Sky News: White House Christmas tree blown over by high winds One in three households with children ‘will struggle’ this Christmas Christmas dinner favourites at risk after washout harvest

Jonathan Hughes is marketing director at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales Image: Jonathan Hughes Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

The cost of energy had been a “big factor” for consumers last year, Mr Hughes added.

“People were put off items that they thought would cost them money to run and also if it was a high ticket item like a large set of Christmas lights or an artificial tree then they decided to probably opt for something which was less expensive.”

The British Retail Consortium says consumers are “still being squeezed by the cost of living”.

But, Kris Hamer, its director of insights, added: “People are clearly willing to spend on the small luxuries, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, and decorations are exactly the type of thing we’d expect to do well.”


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