Until recently Christmas jumpers were the ultimate fashion faux pas. They were the hidden items you begrudgingly wore to please your Grandparents once a year. However, with increasing popularity to buy the most outrageous jumper, retailers have fashioned a profitable market, one that has seen sales increase by up to 200% this year.
The sudden appreciation for Christmas Jumpers came in 2011, when retailers saw a staggering 600% increase from the year before. This led to a surge of retailers jumping on the bandwagon to stock new and original designs to draw in consumers.
Department store Debenhams, not one to miss a new trend, has already seen a 200% increase in Christmas jumper sales from last year. It put this down to celebrity influence, with a Debenhams spokesperson stating, “We are seeing many more celebrities join in the fun, customers are responding to the trend and top designers are turning out their own versions of the winter woollies”.
Famous fans include Ferne Cotton and Myleene Klass, alongside teen favourites Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Celebrity interest has transformed the festive sweaters from geek to chic, persuading retailers to experiment with design and colours.
OneHydra has released information on Christmas jumper sales, stating that novelty Christmas jumpers are up by 235%, with funny and rude Christmas jumpers being up by over 500%. This has left Matalan, Asda, Next, ASOS and boohoo as the best performing retailers for Christmas jumper sales this year.
One person who is following the fashion to the extreme is James Cochrane from Toronto, Canada who has created what he claims to be, ‘the world’s ugliest Christmas jumper’. The garment includes a working toy train and is decorated with LED lights, portraying a humorous side to the trend. Cochrane is just one representation of how wide the market has spread, with the jumpers now appealing to humorous types, children and even fashion conscious consumers, as Burberry has brought out its own take on the craze.
James Cochrane has stated that he hopes the jumper will motivate people to donate to Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day, an event that has no doubt influenced Debenhams estimates that 90% of men and women will don a Christmas jumper this year. Tanya Steele, executive director of fundraising at Save the Children stated, “We had over a million people take part last year and we want to see even more jumpers being worn this year”
Save the Children’s partner Asda has already sold its millionth Christmas jumper, upping its sales by 160% in comparison to 2013. This has boosted the charity’s fundraising to an impressive £42,342.
With two days to go until Save the Children’s event and two weeks until Christmas, not forgetting all the Christmas parties in-between, Christmas jumper sales will continue to climb. The novelty Christmas jumper looks set to stay.