With the festive season approaching retailers are vying for popularity as consumers prepare for their holiday shopping. Standing out from the crowd is crucial if stores are hoping to make the most of the holiday season. Sales and door-buster-deals are classic manoeuvres, but many retailers choose a more enchanting and appropriately festive method of drawing customers attention.
Holidays window displays have transformed from a celebration of Christmas to an all-out war between the most creative retailers. The result is stunning presentations which highlight the beauty and prestige of the holiday seasons in shopping hotspots all around the world.
However New Zealand has not embraced the extravagant holiday display window. Our main attraction is the displays of Smith and Caughey’s in Auckland Central, but other Kiwi retailers have not followed in their footsteps, making our shopping hotspots appear rather bare compared to the rest of the world.
Here are some of the most impressive displays from shopping capitals around the world:
Of course, for New Zealand Smith and Caughey’s festivities dominate the retail sphere. This year marked the 10th anniversary of Smith and Caughey’s animated window displays, and the anniversary presentation did not disappoint.
This year’s display is based on the children’s book ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots. The display utilises detailed animatronic puppets which are simply charming. Delicate Christmas music plays alongside the windows to add to the enchanting atmosphere and engage crowds in the lovable tale.
The retailer held a special event in association with KidsCan for the unveiling of their displays. Children and families were invited to get into the Christmas spirit with balloon artists, milk and cookies and a visit from the big man himself to hand out gifs to all the attending children. The launch was a massive success and drew in an impressive crowd, while the window display continues to attract festive shoppers from around the country.
On Brompton Road, in Knightsbridge London, you will find Harrods legendary holiday windows. The department store spares no expense as they line the street with fabulous shadow box displays, and the theme for this year’s designs is Fantastica.
Each of their windows presents a unique festive moment, from The Queen's speech to unwrapping presents. Their most anticipated design this year is a collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, window nine presents ‘The Dolce and Gabbana Leftover Fridge’. The window displays a stunning arrangement of bejewelled foods alongside stunning fashion accessories.
Harrods employs a specialist team to design their yearly displays, and hand-crafted decorations have been painstakingly constructed over five months to contribute to the department stores presentation. The extensive efforts have been well worth the results, as passersby are mesmerised by the festive beauty, and the holiday window displays have gained recognition from all around the world.
The Printemps Department store in Paris has unveiled this year’s holiday window display, and their presentation encapsulates the innocent wonder of Christmas time.
Their eleven window display features stunning landscapes and adorable animals which are bought to life through intricate puppet designs. The scenes include a frozen valley with silver bears, a small village with homes made out of biscuits and an underwater wonderland.
The displays feature 78 different mechanisms that will delight adults and children alike, as the magical creatures move about to create an animated presentation. The displays tell a story as two heroes, Jules and Violette, travel between the different displays and interact with the charming creatures they come across. Printemps holiday window display for 2018 had a mass unveiling which drew impressive crowds, and the presentations are sure to attract crowds throughout the festive season.
New York City
Herald Square is once again home to Macey’s fabulous holiday window displays, which have been capturing the hearts of shoppers since the early 1870s. The retailer was among the first to feature holiday windows and continues to bring the joy of the holiday season into their department store.
This year’s presentation theme is ‘Believe in the Wonder of Christmas’. Their displays follow a linear tale, as Sunny the Snowpal faces a series of obstacles on his quest to save Christmas. The story takes place over the six windows and prevents a humorous and charming tale which is sure to enchant the whole family.
The presentation heavily utilises animatronics and glamorous lights, and presents a more modern and technological take on the holiday display, taking the classic festive tradition into a new age.
David Jones’ annual Sydney Christmas window display has once again caught the attention of festive fanatics around the country.
The glamour and tradition of the holiday season is celebrated in this year’s Victorian-era themed display. Finely detailed dolls and characters sit around the display and are reminiscent of a simpler time, playing homage to Christmas’s past. The presentation features classical orchestra music which contributed to the feeling of nostalgia and grandeur for those who came to admire the display. This was intermixed with more modern pop-style beats which young children would recognise, appealing to the broad consumer range the Christmas display annually attracts.
The display was inspired by E.T.A Hoffman’s classic Christmas tale the Nutcracker and encapsulated the elegance and charm of the festive season.