Christmas is just around the corner and retailers have lifted the curtain on spectacular seasonal windows.

As Christmas nears, the world is heading into overdrive as far as visual merchandising and promotions are concerned. This is the time of year when Christmas is ‘launched’ amid high hopes that sales will soar right up to the big day. John Ryan from Retail Week says; “For the moment, the windows on Oxford Street remain varied. Some stores plug the season of goodwill, while others are content to run with their latest product campaign.”

For the moment however, displays remain varied, as some stores plug the season of goodwill, while others are content to simply run with their latest product campaign.

We take a look at four different approaches from four retailers dotted around the globe.


Selfridges, London

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Luxury department store Selfridges’ Christmas window campaign should ensure that passing shoppers are aware of the festivities taking place in store.

With Oxford Street’s longest frontage, this year the store that heads Retail Week’s Top of the Shops has opted to use black backdrops for its windows and focus instead on the mannequins, which are dressed in clothing themed around the zodiac. The sets on which the mannequins are positioned include everything from large upright feathers to a geometric maze composed of white neon tubes.

This is, of course, about selling upscale designer labels, but there is nothing in-your-face about how each window’s collections are flagged up and it would be possible to view any of the scenes without noticing the brands involved. It’s worth noting too is the window that has no mannequin in it. Instead, there is a scheme devoted to Grey Goose vodka, which has a model of a blue delivery van, branded with the eponymous booze, placed in the snow in front of a white building.

There is no doubt it has been an enormous project with a total of 32,000 hours going into the creation of 2015 windows but when it comes to price, the store are keeping their cards close to his chest.

‘I can’t possibly tell you,’ adds the spokesperson ‘Let’s just say it’s very expensive.’

Printemps Haussmann, Paris

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To mark the 150th anniversary of Printemps, the department store on Boulevard Haussmann has come up with a mischievous fairy who makes spring (printemps in French) awaken in the depths of winter, with choreography designed by Philippe Decouflé. Dive into the heart of the ‘Printemps Christmas Fairy Tale’ and become one of its heroes.

How do they do it? A camera will capture your face and place it on the character’s body so that, for one video, everyone can be transformed into a Printemps Fairy, a Longines Little Timekeepers or a Lancôme Rose Lady.

The enchanting spectacle continues through the store’s 11 window displays, where a succession of captivating tableaux show the Printemps fairy waving her magic wand to wake Nature from sleep with the help of her friends the Little Masters of Time, the Genies of the Spring and the Pretty Dancers.

Clever and beautiful!

Saks, Fifth Avenue, NYC 

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This year Saks Fifth Avenue reimagines the earth’s most spectacular wonders and transforms them into remarkable wintry fantasies. Whether it’s the Empress of China sliding alongside her Great Wintery Wall, the mighty Gladiatrix battling above her Ice-Cold Colosseum, or an Icy Mermaid marvelling at the beauty found within the frozen Great Barrier Reef – each window depicts a winter marvel with exotic fashion to match.

New York during the holidays is quite a magical experience, filled with excitement from visitors all around the world. Yet,the most breathtaking and wondrous sights are the holiday windows showcasing the creations from retailers’ imaginations,” commented Mark Briggs, Executive Vice President, HBC Creative. “New York would not be the same if it weren’t for the whimsical lands and twinkling decor of the holiday windows. I am excited for sightseers to see our very unique creations this year.”

The holiday theme trickles into each department with icy chandeliers, frosted decor, and wintry, exotic fashion. Additionally, Saks Fifth Avenue has launched the Gifts of Wonder, its unique holiday gifting assortment, within each Winter Palace.

Fortnum and Mason, London

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Fortnum & Mason have opted for a more traditional scene this year, featuring reindeers, instruments and festive foods. This year’s window has been inspired by their recent collaboration with illustrator Kristjana S Williams who wanted to “celebrate the wonder of Christmas and the rituals of the season.”

In each of the 21 windows, a key motif from Williams’ designs have been transformed into 3D, creating an almost dreamlike aesthetic. Its a winning display if you have little ones.

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