While the country prepares to bask in a mini-heatwave, Selfridges is getting into the spirit of Christmas and is gearing up to open its Christmas store earlier than ever before.

The department store will open its Christmas shop on August 2, a mere 145 days before Christmas Day and its earliest ever opening for the store.

The usual pre-lit trees, crackers and fairy lights will this year be joined by a £500 life-size donkey and paint-your-own-baubles.

Selfridges said that previous sales had shown that some customers, especially overseas visitors, started shopping for the festive season during the summer months.

Last year, Selfridges’ Christmas shop, which opened on August 8, sold more than 1,000 baubles during the first week of trading.

Geraldine James, Selfridges Christmas Shop buying manager, said: “Christmas is coming earlier each year. I can see a time when we offer a capsule Christmas collection throughout the year.

“We are famous globally for our Christmas decorations and our signature Selfridges bauble can be found on trees from Miami to Manchester, via Montego Bay.”