Southamptpn store IKEA has slashed the price of their Christmas trees to just £1 pound - a 96 per cent discount.

The store ordered thousands of real Nordmann Fir Christmas trees but had to drop the price from £25.

The price tag proved too steep for many customers and the store cut it to £5 before reducing it to just £1 yesterday.

IKEA have sold artificial trees in the past, but this is the first year that the Swedish company have decided to sell real trees.

One shopper said: "There were rows and rows of trees - I was spoilt for choice.

"I left it late to buy my Christmas tree this year and I thought I'd struggle to find one.

"But I'm glad I did leave it so late as you'll be lucky to find a tree for less than 1 pound.

"In a way I wish I'd waited another couple of days - they might have paid me to take one away!

"When we went outside to get a taxi to take us home with the tree we told the taxi driver how much it had cost.

"He was so stunned he stopped the car and walked down the rank to tell all the other drivers about the deal."

Last month consumer group Which? released figures that revealed fewer than one in five homes (18 per cent) will have a real tree this Christmas.

Some people may be put off the cost - in some areas a Nordmann Fir can set you back as much as 55 pounds for a six foot tree.

Nordmann Firs arrived in the UK during the 1990s, and became the most popular tree in Britain because of their non-drop needles.

But more than four in five people have chosen to have an artificial tree this year.

Gary Pearce, IKEA Southampton store manager, added: "It's the final week before Christmas, and we wanted to be able to give IKEA Southampton customers a very special offer on our gorgeous Christmas trees."