A festive jumper featuring a design created by a supermarket worker has rolled out across stores nationally.
Lesley Blundell, a full-time counters team member at the Sainsbury’s Lancaster Road store, beat over 200 colleagues nationwide in a competition to design a Christmas jumper.
Lesley’s winning design, a jumper in the style of Santa’s famous red jacket, is a leading part of the retailer’s Tu clothing range this Christmas.
Sold in 117 stores, Lesley’s jumper was one of three overall winners and went on sale last week, priced at just £16.
Lesley has been with the retailer for three years.
She said: “I wanted to make a jumper that gave people an easy way to dress up as Santa.
“I wanted to keep the design simple but full of that ho,ho,ho factor”.
Lesley’s Santa design certainly caught the eye of the judges from the retailer’s Store Support Centre in Holborn, London and she received the winning news in May.
She said: “I was really pleased when I heard that my design was going to be made in time for Christmas.
“The last few months have been amazing in seeing the jumper in production and I’ve learnt so much”.
Since the competition, Lesley has been on a jumper-journey through Sainsbury’s clothing
industry, which has included a trip to Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing Store Support Centre in
Coventry, where she saw the plans for the jumper design.
“I suggested to the buyers about putting ‘Made by Lesley Blundell, Sainsbury’s Morecambe’ in the nametag and they happily agreed.
“It’s great to get the store name and town out there to our customers across the country”, said Lesley.
Lesley also got to visit a clothing factory in Istanbul, Turkey in September, where she
saw how the jumper would be produced.
She then unveiled her finished jumper to 4000 Sainsbury’s colleagues at the retailer’s colleague conference in Birmingham in September.
James Brown, Head of Clothing at Sainsbury’s, said: “This competition has shown us the great fashion styles and creativity amongst our colleagues and Lesley’s winning design showcases the Tu brand brilliantly.
“Christmas jumpers are going to be one of our top-selling lines this festive season and we hope her Santa entry is snapped up by colleagues, customers and her friends and family”.
The jumper has received great feedback so far from Lesley’s friends and family.
Lesley said: “I’m part of the Morecambe Parish Church and the Vicar has assured me he’ll be wearing one during our Christmas day service!
“I also get to say a line about the jumper in our Christmas pantomime – I think I’m living the fashion guru lifestyle at the moment!”.
Lesley now hopes the jumper is a sales winner with customers across the UK.
She added: “I’ve really had a year like no other, from leading out world-class athletes at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games to creating my own jumper.
“All of my five children want one for Christmas, so it looks like we’ll have a family of Santa’s this year”.