Upmarket London department store Fortnum & Mason is expanding the floor space dedicated to its Christmas merchandise by 15% this year.

The expanded Christmas offering will also be moved from the first floor to the third floor of its Piccadilly store for the first time.

Buying director Tim French said: “The Christmas shop is always a really strong feature for Fortnum & Mason and has traditionally always been on the first floor.”

The new layout will include a strong focus on “crackers, table bombs, textile Christmas decorations, stockings and stocking fillers”, French said.

The retailer is planning a series of interactive tastings, masterclasses, demonstrations and customer attractions such as chorister perfomances to take place on the third floor throughout the festive trading period.

Last year, Fortnum & Mason posted a sales surge of 17.3% in December, the highest monthly level in the retailer’s 305-year history. “We’re predicting another strong Christmas,” French said. “Our target is to better the 17% growth that we did last year, and I’m confident we’ll do that.”

Its online sales also soared 45% in December 2012.

The retailer’s trademark hampers, ranging in price from £55 to £300, are expected to be top-sellers this Christmas, as is its selection of exclusive jewellery, presented under the ‘Christmas Rocks’ banner.

Candles are also forecast to be popular this Christmas following the retailer’s opening of a dedicated candle room, which will open on September 2.