Christmas is well and truly upon us. There will be some of us who are organised and have everything in place, while others will inevitably leave it to the last minute.

But spare a thought for retailers. They have to be ready for consumers at this key time – so when do they start planning their Christmas?

The Christmas retail period has significantly changed in recent years. The more prepared consumer starts earlier than they traditionally used to.

According to Google Trends, searches for the term ‘stocking filler’ started back in August this year and really started to get momentum in November. Christmas is no longer a December-only period.

Retailers have to follow this consumer trend. Selfridges’ London flagship store opened their Christmas shop in July – 147 days before Christmas, while Christmas-themed sandwiches have been on sale in the likes of Boots and M&S before Halloween.

Christmas is a busy time for CCS McLays as well, with many High Street retailers requiring a significant increase in core Goods Not for Resale (GNFR) and packaging supplies.

Having an understanding of these spikes in the retailer’s annual year, allows CCS McLays to provide further support to its claim of being “the only genuine single-source solution for retailers”.

However, the company is also aware that not all of their clients would be subject to huge increases in demand for products at this time of year. The demands from clients such as Hugo Boss will be different to that of pharmaceutical organisation, Lloyds Pharmacy or food chain Wasabi.

It is this knowledge and experience that allows CCS McLays to tailor its service for a wide range of clients.