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The Christmas jumper phenomenon

Christmas jumpers have exploded on the retail scene, with many retailers creating designated categories. EDITD looks at what's selling, at which prices.
The Christmas jumper phenomenon | EDITED



Recall that teeth-grittingly awkward scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary when our desperate heroine meets Mark Darcy in their family christmas knits? Way back in 2001 it seemed like the height of uncool to be seen in such an agonisingly faux-funny garment. And yet something has happened to rewrite the script on the novelty Christmas jumper.

Show some good wool this Christmas

This year the christmas jumper has seen yet a greater interest than ever before. A simple google for “Christmas jumper” will reveal ASOS, New Look, Matalan, Amazon, Next, Boohoo, Peacocks and John Lewis have all put considerable effort into optimising their sites to capture traffic. Such is the popularity that on Friday 13th December, Save the Children are running a “Christmas Jumper Day” calling for £1 donations and for ironic knitwear devotees to ‘show some good wool this Christmas’.

So where can the charitable find their woollens? Christmas jumpers currently available online are priced from £6 (at Matalan) to a £473 embellished bauble knit Meadham Kirchhoff at The Outnet. The average price of the festive novelty sweater is £44, and the mass market makes up the majority of current products (83%). But that’s not to say the premium market hasn’t shown the style attention – Ted Baker have a £99 reindeer fair isle knit, Stella McCartney has created a £170 festive sweater for Selfridges and French Connection are stocking a £75 polar bear knit. Marks and Spencer have clearly recognised the potential in this trend, placing their cashmere reindeer knit at the unusually high price (for them) of £129, and the item has sold out.

The retailers with the largest selection in the UK are ASOS, New Look, Debenhams, Selfridges and Very. Sweaters that use humour are especially popular, selling out on average in just 16 days. The new arrivals of the past three months have seen 309 sell outs, with reindeer prints being the most popular across men’s, women’s and childrenswear. “Ho ho ho” slogans and novelty fair isles are both seen repeatedly in the selection of fast selling items too. Boohoo, George at ASDA, New Look, Very and ASOS have all been successful across multiple styles.

Smart retailers have created designated category sections within their sites – optimising for search engines and making the shopping experience easy for consumers. Selfridges even introduced a Christmas section in their new designer Sweater Shop. We’re expecting to see a flurry of Festive knit promotions occurring in the next week as retailers give one final push to clear products at full-price. Tied to the holiday season, dead stock of this trend is a big drain for retailers.

The EDITD team will be pulling on our reindeer knits for Save the Children this Friday the 13th. Join us in showing some good wool.

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