BY JO BRUCE

Being a scrooge with your Christmas decorations may not only be
perceived as Bah humbug! by customers. It can have a direct impact
on your bottom line, according to new research.
Online Christmas decorations e-tailer Christmas Tree World (www.christmastreeworld.co.uk) says 59 per cent of consumers
surveyed would spend £21 more on average per head if the venue had impressive Christmas decorations and displays, with 45 per
cent also citing decorations as the second-most important part of their Christmas visit experience, after food.
The research also shows that striking decorations also increase dwell time, with consumers saying they would spend 54 minutes
longer if a venue had great festive decorations.
Stephen Evans, managing director of Christmas Tree World, says: "Spending even a small amount on Christmas decorations
which can be re-used year after year can ultimately boost business performance significantly. This is not to be ignored."
Colours for Christmas 2018
So what to choose for this Christmas?
When it comes to colour schemes for trees and garlands, professional decorating company Christmas Decorators' co-director Vicky
Doughty says gold is always a winner, as it can be mixed in with reds for a more traditional look or paired with black for a more
contemporary feel.
She also tips rose gold, bronze and
copper to be big this Christmas and colours such as deep reds/burgundy, dark greens, pewter and blues to complement these for a
stunning rich "jewelled" look.
Supplier Bidfood's campaign manager Laura Mason also tips white and silver and contemporary designs such as festive jumpers
as key themes this year. Decorations made from recyclable materials and crackers made from sustainable sources will also be
bigger news for this festive season, with Bidfood among stockists.
Do something different
Whatever you choose, try to deliver one piece or area with a wow factor. At Three Cheers Pub Co's Bolingbroke pub in
London they featured an upside down Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling to great effect at The George Payne in Hove,
licensee Zoe Rodgers creates a winter wonderland feel, with natural tree branches hanging over the bar with bags of festive treats
attached.
Lights can achieve a big impact for those on a limited budget. Vicky from Christmas Decorators says: "String lights can be twisted
around beams and shrubs, or
potted plants can have lights wrapped round branches. Frame the outline of windows either inside or out with string lights and add
in a twinkle for a magical look."
My Christmas decorations
David Utting,
The Empress, Cambridge
Going large on decorations has proved a business winner for Ei Group licensee David Utting of The Empress in Cambridge.
He puts up around £10,000-worth of decorations – a collection of tinsel,
baubles, red brick wallpaper, bells, reindeers, snowmen and around 150 sets of lights, a haul which has been built up over 11

years.
The outside of the pub is also painted a festive red and green with pictures of snowmen and the like to deliver kerb appeal.
David buys decorations all year in sales and his team start decorating part of the pub in early October.
He says: "We add to the decorations each year. It takes a long time to put them up, but they are really great for business and
boost profits. People who come to see them will have two or three pints and it provides a great talking point for customers."
David's tips:

If you have a large pub then focus on just going big on decorations in one area, as you have to go over the top to make
an impact.

Don't underestimate how long it takes to put up decorations. Enlist a team of helpers and if decorating on a largescale,
be prepared for it to take several weeks.

Use lots of cable ties to secure decorations.
Sell decorations
Selling Christmas trees and wreaths to customers is an approach that has worked well for London's Three Cheers Pub Co, who will
again be setting up "Christmas Tree Forests" at five of its pubs from late November to Christmas Eve.
Every shopper who buys
a tree will receive a complimentary glass of hot apple cider
or mulled wine.
Mark Reynolds, co-founder of the company, says: "Selling the trees creates a wonderful Christmas atmosphere and lovely
community feel. It creates another dimension to the exterior decorations at the pub and