It may be August, but the big retailers are already preparing for the festive season to make the most out of the sector's busiest trading period.
John Lewis is recruiting 3,500 staff to work in both the retail and distribution arms of the business during the Christmas season; all the temporary staff will go through training to make sure John Lewis provides "the highest level of customer service".
Key skills that John Lewis' Christmas employees will have to master include "expertly gift-wrapping the perfect present."
Staff will be filling roles in the John Lewis Christmas shop, as well as the retailer's electrical, home and catering departments. Staff will also be needed in stock management and in distribution centres and support branches.
What you need to know
The company said staff often move into permanent roles at John Lewis after taking on Christmas shifts; Dinos Rocos, John Lewis' operations director, started as a temporary employee during the festive season and has now been working at the company for 40 years.
John Lewis has also been investing in its stores recently; the retailer announced this week that it was investing £9m in its beauty halls, hoping to increase footfall and bring new brands to customers.