Christmas has just passed so it’s time we take our annual look at some of the latest creative retail design on offer in this year’s crop of festive window displays at some of London’s biggest retail stores.
John Lewis have continued the animal theme from their incredibly popular ‘Bear and the Hare’ Christmas advert with festive creatures constructed from household objects including vacuum cleaners, kettles and crockery. This breathtaking combination of art and engineering features 180 animals – including a life-size bear, a hare, a deer and turkeys – in the display at their Flagship Oxford Street store, all fashioned from more than 7,000 products which are available for sale inside.
Head of Retail Design at John Lewis, Kim Morris describes the idea behind the design:
“We wanted our windows to do more than just inform, we wanted to create displays which would inspire and delight our customers over the coming months. This year we’ve gone in a new direction, whilst ensuring that products still remain the stars of the show.”
Every year Harrods pick an interesting theme for their window – last year we reported on their lavish series of displays based on Disney Princesses and this year they have chosen a more masculine subject with broader appeal . Inspired by the ‘Great British Railway’ this display features a sparkling steam engine pulling a succession of ‘carriages’ offering a glimpse into an opulent and glamorous world filled with festive treats and populated by a set of sophisticated and well-dressed mannequins – one of whom is wearing an £80,000 dress encrusted with crystals, just in case anyone was worried that the ‘Princess’ element might be missing from this year’s display.
Selfridges describe this year’s festive display at their Oxford Street store as “extraordinary celebration of all things gifting and giving this festive season”. This simplistic design focuses on oversized bestselling products including as Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a Kenzo Sweater nestling in traditional snow-filled landscapes, backed by twinkling starry skies.
As always, the Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge is dressed to excess. Lavish, luxuriant colours and bold lighting with illuminated stars and snowflakes accentuate a series of mannequins that are dressed to party!
As the recent star of a 3 part Channel 4 series, Liberty are known for their unique retail experience and their window display plays to their strength with explosive ‘ka-pow’ style cut-outs making the most of the available space and displaying an eclectic selection of the gifts available inside.
Maxine Groucutt, head of festive displays at Liberty explains the ethos behind the design: ‘I remember as a child going with my parents to see local windows. Now, my generation has children and we’re taking them to see the windows and it’s become a tradition. It’s part of the whole build-up…. we always make it about the products but we use them to tell a story…you get an unexpected twist. There’s a tale to tell.’
The window displays in London have now become as much a part of the London Christmas experience as ice skating at Somerset House or seeing the Regent Street lights being switched on – no one can say for sure if or how they improve sales but the stories being told and the windows into glamorous worlds like the displays at Harrods really do add some Christmas magic to the London shopping experience and long may they continue. Next stop – the January Sales!