Tesco and Berkshire Christmas tree boss expect early rush

Demand for Christmas trees is increasing early this year, according to the founder of Europe’s largest tree wholesaler based near Reading.

Supermarkets like Tesco also expect 15% more people than in 2020 to buy a tree as “Christmas Tree Saturday” approaches this weekend.

Christopher Hood, director and founder of Needlefresh wholesalers – based in Yattendon, Berkshire, which sell more than 700,000 trees each year – said the demand for real trees is increasing every year.

“We’re going to have a really good year for real Christmas trees this year,” he said.

Workers collect and load bundles of Christmas trees, wrapped in plastic netting, onto pallet tractors at Yattendon Estate in West Berkshire

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“We are seeing people buying trees maybe a little earlier than normal and by the beginning of December things will have started to be in full swing and we expect the majority of people to be out. looking for their real tree for this year.

“We have seen a significant increase in sales, especially of live potted trees, which have absolutely taken off over the past three years.

“I think this is the culmination of what’s happening with Brexit and the fact that in general people have struggled with Covid, people want to celebrate and they want to find something to enjoy.”

Customer Andrew Seymour, 71, from Aldworth, Berkshire, said every year he buys a tree early at the Yattendon site to avoid the rush.

Bracknell News: A worker carries wrapped Christmas trees around the yard as they are prepared for market, at Yattendon Estate in West BerkshireA worker carries wrapped Christmas trees around the yard as they prepare for the market at Yattendon Estate in West Berkshire

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He said: “We always come the first week they open and put it in the garden and normally put it in the house the week before Christmas.

“It’s so nice to do it like this to avoid the rush and the choice is really good.

“I think artificial ones are still popular, but I think people buy real trees because they’re trying to make the most of the holiday season, well the stores are anyway.”

Tesco Horticulture spokesperson Lottie Morrison said: “Over the past few years we have noticed that wholesale sales are starting earlier in the holiday season with a significant increase in the number of buyers choosing trees from. More durable and drop-free Christmas like the Nordman tree.

Bracknell News: Seasonal worker Max Tobin checks pallets of Christmas trees, planted in bins and destined for Tesco supermarkets, in the Yattendon estate in West BerkshireSeasonal worker Max Tobin checks pallets of Christmas trees, planted in bins and destined for Tesco supermarkets, in the Yattendon estate in West Berkshire

“The trend has become so pronounced and widespread across the UK that we are now calling the event ‘Christmas Tree Saturday’.

“This year, we anticipate an even earlier rush – at the end of November – due to the cancellation of last year’s Christmas party celebrations due to the pandemic.

“While most of these first sales will be on Saturdays, we are seeing a spike throughout the weekend – and the following weekend – as it gives families the chance to enjoy the decorating ceremony together.”

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