Five Must-See NYC Holiday Window Displays

Since the 1870s, holiday window displays in New York have been a tradition. The tradition continues to present day as stores large and small create an awe-inspiring tapestry of decorative scenes, from the cute and cozy to the magnificent and dramatic.

I was so inspired by these windows I just had to share them with you. Enjoy…
After strolling through the major shopping avenues of Manhattan, here’s my list of “must-see” window displays for this year’s holiday season. Marrying today’s latest tech with timeless sentiments, each of these cleverly designed displays will add wonderment and joy to your day, so be sure to take time and explore each of these special worlds:

Lord & Taylor: The Best and Brightest

For its 80th annual holiday display, Lord & Taylor transformed its Fifth Avenue windows into a whimsical journey as seen through the lens of enchanted snow globes, featuring over 60 variations throughout the display. Snow globes, and the animated figures playing within them, provide the unifying motif that pulls together the retailer’s five magical window scenes.

Macy’s Herald Square: The Perfect Gift Brings People Together

Photo: Diane Bondareff

Macy’s Herald Square brings people – and window themes – together. There are six windows lining the Broadway- facing side of Macy’s, each with its own theme. One focuses on the holiday tree as the centerpiece of family and home, and two show the holiday metropolis filled with life and activity as animal creatures enjoy the coming of winter in their own festive ways.

The third features a viewfinder through which visitors can take a better look at this panoramic winter scene, featuring Santa flying high above the city.  The fourth gives a look into a holiday spectacular being staged in a giant theater, and the fifth focuses on transportation… all under Santa’s watchful eye, as he waves to the passersby. And the sixth depicts Macy’s Herald Square itself in miniature as shoppers dart by against a backdrop of Santaland and the giant Christmas tree.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Once Upon a Holiday

Each year, Saks Fifth Avenue’s display is made larger than life, thanks to its 10-story-tall theatrical light show that accompanies the 14-holiday window displays. But this year is a little different. First off, for the first time in its 94-year history, Saks is animating each and every one of the window displays. The displays all depict scenes from Disney’s animated film classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a first-time collaboration with Disney. Probably the stylistic highlight of the display is the rich fairytale dress gowns Saks commissioned Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier, and Marchesa to design.

Bloomingdales: The Greatest Showman

 

This year, Bloomingdales’ windows also feature a movie tie-in, this one with the upcoming holiday release of “The Greatest Showman,” a musical depicting the life of P.T. Barnum and starring Hugh Jackman. Bloomingdales partnered with some of its best designers to assemble one-of-a-kind items inspired by the movie, many of which are featured in the circus themed window displays. And Swarovski created crystal-themed images bring glisten and sparkle to this circus wonderland.

Tiffany: A Tiffany New York Christmas

At Tiffany’s, each window features a wintry scene accented with the jeweler’s signature flair. Each window showcases the elegance of giving a Tiffany gift, from a diamond studded Christmas tree to a holiday table setting complete with jewel-filled Christmas crackers, champagne, and cakes.

Traditional winter accessories like woven hats, scarves and earmuffs, are given the Tiffany touch, using the iconic brand color to pull together each of the holiday scenes. (The 5th Avenue store also just made it possible to actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s in its just-opened Blue Box Cafe, fulfilling many the dreams of many women.)

Displays That Will Get Customers Sticking Around The Store Longer

Q: What are some of the most effective ways to make the kind of display that will get customers sticking around the store longer.A: A few ideas on displays that promote sales:

  1. Set up several feature areas in your store. Tables are best. These areas bring your store to life and are points of interest. They slow down shoppers.

  2. Use cross merchandise technique to showcase multiple items and how they work together. This creates interest in add on sales.

  3. Your sales staff should be trained to use these feature /cross merchandized display as a sales tool.

Q: What are some tips on putting up effective displays on a budget?A: Many retailers still buy props for display set up. Not the right way to think. Everything you use in a display other than the actual fixture or table and may be the risers are for sale. I do not recommend retailers spend any money on props. If you have it, you sell it! What I do suggest is that within your display grouping you use multiple products and products with many heights to create flow and impact.Q: How can a manager find inspiration for non-holiday themed displays?A: The manager should be following a promotional calendar for each month. That’s 3 to 4 events happening in the store, more than enough activity to support their merchandising program other then holidays.Q: Is there such a thing as too little or too much when it comes to displays?A: Interesting questions. The display is always defined by the space provided. In my years of being a visual merchandiser and that’s 37 years, retailers struggle with this for sure. I would recommend hiring a VM. They are worth the money. Sales will go up for sure. But, in the mean time, bring more products out of the stock room make your store look lush!Q: What should be the creative angle when the idea is to gin up sales?A: Complex questions. Displays are the icing on the cake. They alone will not completely gin up sales. It’s selling the right product at the right time, it’s training staff to sell, and it’s creating a customer experience to say the least.Q: Are there any cardinal sins when it comes to displays?A: Ample lighting, most stores skimp on lighting because it’s expensive. Lighting has been shown to be one of the strongest influences in retail selling. My other pet peeve is not using signage to complete displays. Signage is a silent sales person when everyone is busy. Of-late, chalkboards have become very popular again. “If you feel stuck please contact Retail Makeover we can help you.”

Farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store

The end of an era:

Toronto bids farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store - The Globe and Mail

honest-eds

honest-eds

Memories, and a husk of a building, are all that will be left in short time after the discount retailer closes up for good. Over the years, the bargain-basement shop has catered to immigrants and the working class, reshaped life on Bloor and delighted passersby with its gimmicky signs - a testament to Ed Mirvish's personality and business acumen.(Globe and Mail)The end of an era: Toronto bids farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store - The Globe and MailLINK TO FULL ARTICLE

Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

6 Ways To Create A Culture Of Innovation

Reward employees with time to think, while providing them with the structure they need.  

 Thank Soren Kaplan for this great article on creating a culture of innovation...

  • Be Intentional With Your Innovation Intent

  • Create a structure for unstructured time

  • Step-In, Then Step Back

  • Measure What’s Meaningful

  • Give "Worthless" Rewards

  • Get Symbolic!

Business man teamwork , eps10 vector format

Business man teamwork , eps10 vector format

Every organization is designed to get the results it gets. Poor performance comes from a poorly designed organization. Superior results emerge when strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies, tools, and reward systems fire on all cylinders in symphonic unison.Savvy leaders shape the culture of their company to drive innovation. They know that it’s culture--the values, norms, unconscious messages, and subtle behaviors of leaders and employees--that often limits performance. These invisible forces are responsible for the fact that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail. The trick? Design the interplay between the company’s explicit strategies with the ways people actually relate to one another and to the organization ...Link To Whole Article 

 No Rubber Stamps:

Every company’s culture is inherently different. So when you’re cultivating innovation, you’re cultivating a unique system. Which means you have to be thoughtful about your approach. Whatever you do, it should align with the values of the company and with the company’s goals. And in each case, you have to make it easy and rewarding for the people whose roles and dynamics influence the very innovation culture you’re trying to cultivate.Share your story of  ways you have created a culture of innovation !Look forward to hearing from you.

Best Barbara

Day #130 - Manufactures Display Units

Manufactures display units - should you invest in them?

Retail News Article: Ask BarbaraRead what I have to say about Investing in  manufacturers display units.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]Best;Barbara[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Day #112 - Retailing In A Pop Up World

The future is temporary:

Retailing in a pop up world

I found this article to be very interesting.  Enjoy the read...By Doug Stephens

Reebok pop-up store New York City

The concept of pop-up retail has been around for more than a decade.  Vacant, a company out of Los Angeles, California is credited with pioneering the concept of pop-up shops in North America, after seeing similar concepts in Tokyo.  They observed that Japanese consumers would sometimes line up for hours to buy limited edition goods.  Once stock was sold out, the store would simply close until new stock arrived.  This led Vacant to innovate the current model for pop-up, whereby stores would open for a defined period and then simply close, only to pop up later in a different location.Until 2007 however, pop-up shops, while intriguing, were regarded largely as a novelty.  The retail industry remained dominated by the foundational precept that stores were more permanent things.   The goal of most retailers remained long-term, favorable leases in locations with trusted consumer traffic levels. This was how retail was done and how it was won.

Popping Up Out of the Ashes

The economic collapse of 2008 brought new opportunities for pop-up retail.  Landlords who were reeling from fallout in the commercial real estate market entertained previously unthinkable, short-term agreements for their space, paving the way for a host of temporary retail installations.  From Los Angeles to the mean streets of New York, the economic meltdown spurred a brilliant series of unique and daring pop-up concepts.Above all else, these concepts seemed to breathe new life into a retail industry that had become fat and lazy, in the days leading up to the financial crisis.  Retail had too long depended on excess consumer spending to buoy demand. Only when the bottom fell out of the market was it apparent just how unremarkable most retail had become.In a sea of sameness, these unique and fleeting pop-ups caught the attention of consumers and made retail interesting again.

From Novelty to Strategy

Today, pop-up has become a legitimate channel strategy.  Everyone from Walmart to Hermes has turned to these temporary formats to reach consumers where their full-line stores couldn’t.Entire cities have embraced the concept of pop-up retail as a means of revitalizing urban neighborhoods.  One example, Oakland California’s Pop Up Hood concept, offered 6 months of rent-free space to independent merchants to test out their retail concepts in designated parts of Oakland.Even entertainment moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West opened a pop-up shop last year in New York City to commemorate the release of Watch the Throne.  The store was open for one weekend only.Technology is also fueling more creative approaches to pop up.  Augmented reality applications are transforming inanimate spaces into engaging consumer buying portals – trips through the looking glass.  Net-A-Porter’s recent launch of its Karl Lagerfeld line, whereby the outside of the store became a living interaction point for mobile device wielding consumers, is one such recent example.Net-A-Porter uses augmented reality to wow crowds at their Karl pop-up stores

Commercial Real Estate Redefined

What these and other concepts point to is an historic move away from retail being solely about established patterns of consumer traffic and purchase intent based on familiarity.  The new consumer is seeking surprise and excitement from retail and is in many ways returning to its pre-industrial revolution roots and the concept of the travelling market.For the commercial real estate industry, the writing may be on the temporary wall.  The success of pop-up retail signifies the need for less permanent real estate overall.  It’s logical to expect more retail chains to move to a mix of flagship (got to be there) locations and opportunistic, temporary installations to create excitement and capture sales. The commercial real estate professional of the future may be relied upon as much for their keen sense of guerilla marketing instinct as they are for their knowledge of the market overall.BestBarbara

Day #81 - Why Display Is Important To Retailers

Why Display Is Important To Retailers

... especially at Christmas time"A better organized  store means  sales go up" ...  quote from  me barbara crowhurstWhy Display is Important to your Retail Business:o      Over stimulated customer, and there are a lot of us around these days, need things made easy. Good displays make an easier shop with products presented in a unified way.o      First Impressions. You don’t get a second chance here. Displays that are done right support your brand image and what you are all about as a retailer.o      Competition. There’s a lot out there. Be the retailer everyone else talks about. Make a commitment to have great displays thru out your store.o      Makes shopping easy. Having good display in each department of your store will help better traffic flow. Better traffic flow gets consumers seeing more of your merchandise and staying in your store that magic 7 minutes - when they start to make more buying decisions.o      Multiple sales. Magical words to retailers at Christmas time.Acheson's in Orangeville is ready for Christmas . This is an A+ Christmas  Customers Experience !Thank you for sharing  your store with  us Dianne.Barbara