We know that the High Street stores spend a fortune on their seasonal advertising campaigns. We can hardly avoid them to be honest.
But have you ever wondered how much difference these thirty second theatrical pieces make to us, the consumer?
Well according to figures the results are mixed.
While John Lewis (whose use of a penguin stole hearts everywhere) saw their results go from strength –to-strength, other big brands failed to follow suit.
So here’s a look at who came out on top and those who were left bringing up the rear in the battle for High Street supremacy last Christmas.
The tale of Monty the penguin helped to boost John Lewis’s like-for-like sales by 4.8% in the five weeks to 27 December. Though this period did include Black Friday, which gave the chain its best ever week of sales in its 150-year history, when it shifted £179m of goods in seven days.
The December cold snap wasn’t bad news for everyone. Strong sales of woollen products and winter-wear helped Next recover some of the ground lost earlier in the season when mild weather sapped demand for heavy clothing. Sales rose 2.9% in the two months to Christmas Eve, which was at the top end of expectations.
House of Fraser
Black Friday kicked off a strong Christmas for House of Fraser, with like-for-like sales at the privately-owned department store up 8% over the six weeks to 3 January.
The decision to drop the loss-making fashion outlet Bank at the end of last year helped JD Sports boost their like-for-like sales growth by 12% for the five weeks to 3 January as trainers and hoodies proved popular stocking fillers.
The north-east based baker delivered one of the best retail performances of the festive period as shoppers work up an appetite, pushing like-for-like sales up more than 8% in December.
…and the losers
2014 turned out to be Morrisons boss Dalton Philips’ last Christmas in charge as the Irishman threw everything at trying to turn round the fortunes of the country’s fourth largest supermarket to no avail. Only time will tell how incoming chairman Andrew Higginson said fairs during Christmas 2015.
Marks & Spencer
Even the Christmas fairies Magic and Sparkle that M&S roped into its Christmas ads couldn’t reverse a four-year-long slump in clothing sales. They disappointed once again with a near 6% decline in sales of home wares and clothing in the three months to 27 December, while online sales were down almost 6%.
The confectionary giant tried everything to reverse a down-turn in fortunes throughout 2014 and even attempted to tinker with its business model in a bid to find long-term success. But optimism soon melted away after a pre-Christmas profit warning blamed on fewer orders from supermarket customers and warehouse problems.
It was a case of sour grapes for this wine retailer as it was squeezed by competitng supermarkets in a Christmas price war with no side willing to call a truce. Underlying sales were up just over 1% while profit margins suffered as it was forced to cut prices just to keep up.