Christmas comes but once a year…

Christmas comes but once a year…and year-on-year Liverpool pulls out all the stops to make the celebration bigger and better than the year before. Arguably England’s renowned capital city for ‘passion’, Liverpool gets even more magical during Christmas time.

Festive markets add a jolly dose of festive spirit popping-up on Lord Street every year and even St George’s Plateau, helping to drive that continental spirit into the city and offering up alternatives to the high street for festive fayre. Stands selling handmade stocking fillers, festive produce, chestnuts roasted on open fires and mulled wine in log cabins, guarantees to add some merry energy and sparkle to our lively city.

Nights drawing in and the city lit up in metres of gold and colourful outdoor lighting creates our very own version of winter wonderland. With the Liverpool ONE light switch-on, the launch of the epic Ice Festival on the Pier Head and an array of large scale events such as the BTR Santa Dash, the city isn’t short of a reason to draw in the crowds even in the wettest of weather.

November to January is also the much celebrated city’s party season – Christmas nights including work and family celebrations, help to stack the columns of hairdressers and make-up artists throughout the city and our very own female-only Nourish ‘Glam Squad’ has already been taking bookings, while The Richmond Apart Hotel looks close to sell-out for their party nights throughout November and December.

Meanwhile those looking for a more private affair have been taking up the opportunity for some festive exclusivity at the Secret Basement at Love Thy Neighbour. With private dining space for up to 15, and its own dedicated sound system, projector screen and bar, it’s perfect for those looking for the alternative night out with their team or friends.

Back on the high street there’s no doubt that Christmas sales are important to the wider city economy. Q3 sees consumers shop and spend like no other time of the year. Increased consumer spending at Christmas might not amount to boosting the entire British economy during a time of political uncertainty, but it goes a long way to generating and driving money back into the system.

The Office for National Statistics estimated retail sales during the three month festive period in 2016, increased by 1.2% – describing the performance as a “strong end to 2016”. Echoed by Barclaycard, who handle nearly half of UK card transactions, reported the highest growth in consumer spending in four years during the final three months of 2016, with the hospitality industry showing strong sales too.

The benefits of Christmas goes far beyond increased consumer spending. Hiring temp staff, whether it be those out of work or needing to boost their income, also increases during this period. We like many of our peers have been hiring since the summer, with roles often lasting through to January.

Know Academy will be further boosting these numbers next month, but running a free four week hospitality introduction academy, where trainees can get on-the-job experience working in the likes of The Richmond Apart Hotel and Love Thy Neighbour, with the aim of ending up with a role or apprenticeship in the hospitality sector in the city. The timing for our first foray into this training couldn’t be more apt!

So, with our fantastic city relishing in the festive season and making the most of it from every single angle, it’s fair to say that Christmas allows us to do what we love most, which is to help people celebrate the good times, enjoy the season with their loved ones and moreover, pump vital money back into our industry and do what we can to make the most of this very special time of year for everyone we can.