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Father Christmas launches Harrods Christmas department in July

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Father Christmas

© PA Images

Harrods unveiled its earliest ever Christmas department earlier this week.

The London store saw Father Christmas arrive in a Union Jack-painted Jaguar wearing sunglasses for its July 26 festive launch.

The shop's 8,000 square foot 'Christmas World' department was unveiled to coincide with the increase of tourists for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The department includes a giant snowglobe village, a gingerbread Harrods and a Tower of London replica housing Christmas crackers priced at £1,299 ($2,045).

David Miller, director of Harrods Home, said: "We have return shoppers from all over the globe visiting for the annual summer unveiling of 'Christmas World'.

"As unusual as it may seem to open a Christmas department so early on in the year, the department is always one of our most popular and requested for by shoppers who want to buy decorations as souvenirs or gifts."

He added: "Some of our international customers may only visit the UK once this year and so the summer opening of 'Christmas World' is to cater for this seasonal demand.

"Indeed this year we have also trialled a capsule Christmas collection which we launched back in May, which has already performed extremely well."

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