How to create the ultimate festive window display

Marketing and brand

30 November 2017

You don’t have to be a merchandiser at a big department store to know the importance of a festive window display. In retail’s most competitive season, it’s vital that your store stands out.

Entice customers, increase your footfall and promote "hero" products with an attention-grabbing Christmas window display. Here are some tips for creating the ultimate window display.

Decide on your theme

There are plenty of Christmassy themes to choose from: presents, woodland scenes, cosy fires, food and drink, giant crackers filled with your products. Use the display to tell a much-loved festive story, such as a scene from a well-known carol. If you’re really stumped for a theme, design a gorgeous display using favourite festive colours. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent so it looks neat and professional.

Promote your products

Which product is this year’s hero, and what will be the supporting cast? Design a display where your festive bestseller takes centre stage (but double-check availability first).

Don’t worry if your stock doesn’t instinctively feel festive: with a bit of imagination and a lot of cardboard, a fridge can become a sleigh. Smaller gifts can be hung on trees or twigs, which works beautifully with jewellery. Have some fun by hanging less-expected items from the branches, such as a quirky mobile phone tree.

Plan your props

There are easy ways to get hold of props and decorative staples. Toy shops often sell fake snow. Twinkly lights make a huge impact and are inexpensive in DIY stores – the same goes for fake trees. If you need a larger prop or some furniture, scour the local charity shops (start now). Can you cross-market with other shops by borrowing from each other’s stock? A deli could borrow a table from a furniture shop for a festive feast display.

Pick up pine cones

There are lots of free (and almost-free) decorations. Forage in your garden for evergreen branches, or look for pine cones in the park. Do you remember how to make paper dolls and snowflakes? You can create fabulous displays with nothing but A4 card and scissors. Keep it white and understated, and use good-quality materials and it will still look smart.

As ever, it’s important to have a plan before you get started, and focus on sight-lines and heights. Make sure your lighting is attractive, and don’t forget to leave the lights on. Window-shopping carries on well after you’ve closed, and if your shop looks appealing, late-night browsers will return the next day.

Have fun being creative!