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Posted Date: 01/4/2016

Commercial Holiday Spotlight on Shopping Treasures

Commercial Christmas displays are a vital component for retailers and city centers in order to engage potential shoppers and inspire sales. With diverse retail establishments, schemes can be equally varied. While some rely on the latest technologies, others utilize creative designs and interactive elements to transform facades and aisles into winter wonderlands. Here, we take a look at three different commercial projects that each succeed in exemplifying holiday spirit in a functional retail space.

“Merch” of the Wooden Soldiers: FAO Schwartz
When FAO Schwartz wanted to get ready for the holiday shopping season with an impactful statement that would be scaled for its space, the well-known toy store turned to Global Visual Group (www.GlobalVisualGroup.com). “We adapted their concept to construction of trees that would be transportable and simple to assemble on sight,” explains Global Visual Group president, Ken Stolls. Ultimately, the design incorporated contemporary elements and was devoid of the traditional holiday tree. The resulting display was bold and festive, while bringing a distinct modern flair to the store. “The size of the trees creates loads of impact upon entering the space,” Stolls describes. “They were also laced with resale product throughout the trees which help lift sales.”

The scheme was further brought to life with LED battery-powered strobes and mirror acrylic. The project took three and a half months from design to installation and the plan is to reuse it for three years. For Stolls, the project was successful on many levels, but he was particular proud of the fact that Global Visual Group was able to exactly replicate the design from the renderings provided by the client.

Deck the Mall: Southland Mall
In 2014 Bronner’s Commercial Display (www.bronnerscommercial.com) supplied Southland Mall in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with their Christmas décor. Southland Mall had recently completed a renovation and was looking for dramatic, impactful holiday décor that had a wow factor. They wanted to be known as Santa’s Mall.

The team from Southland Mall flew to Bronner’s and the crews worked together to create a design that would brand Southland – inside and out – as Santa’s Mall, bringing back the magic and excitement of the holidays as seen through the eyes of a child. A visit to Southland Mall included an array of whimsical characters, three interactive areas, festive music, aromatic scents and Santa housed in a winter chalet. “We wanted to bring in pieces that guests to the mall hadn’t seen before, including large fiberglass pieces like our 17-foot Santa, giant ornaments, toy soldiers at the entrances and more,” Kevin Maurer, commercial sales manager, explains. “Traditional colors remain popular and were a fit with the Santa’s Mall theme so we chose to use vibrant, traditional Christmas colors.”

The design is successful in drawing customers into the scheme with interactive elements. For example, at Santa’s chalet, children walk over a “bridge” to see Santa. An added benefit is that this and other pieces of the design will convert easily to an Easter set.

The project took six months from design to installation. Due to the program being extremely successful, attracting more than 600,000 guests, mall owners are interested in extending the Santa’s Mall program to other malls. The design can also be implemented in subsequent years.

Maurer notes that he is particularly proud of the fact that the client won a 2015 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Award, a first for Bronner’s. “The award recognized customer service experience/engagement for a center with 400,000 to 750,000 square feet of retail space,” he notes.

An Enchanted Experience: Saks Fifth Avenue
In 2014 the Saks Holiday Projection and Light show featured the innovative integration of LED and strobe lighting fixtures directly into an architectural projection mapping show on the iconic facade of Saks Fifth Avenue. To create the sidewalk showstopper, American Christmas (www.americanxmas.com) utilized an array of LED nodes, strobes, up-lights and lit garlands to be used not just as an accent to the projection show, but to interact with projected elements across the same structural details, blending with and augmenting the projected image to produce stunning results.  This fusion of architectural projection mapping and architectural lighting design succeeded in not only illuminating but transforming the Fifth Avenue landmark with vibrant and breathtaking results.

To create this seasonal spectacular, American Christmas used 71,000 lights resulting in 24,000 individual points of light that can be programmed or controlled. Approximately 3000 square feet of foliage was used along with 11,000 linear feet of garland. Over 200 individuals were involved with the project that took 9000+ hours to produce and required 10 months of planning in advance.

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