December 30, 2016
Four retailers who won with their interactive holiday displays
By Mandy Hawkins
If you’ve ever seen Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, you can recall the scene where Ralphie and his family vie for a spot in front of the local retailer’s holiday display, in order to catch a glimpse of the splendor. Elbow-to-elbow, people frosted the glass to see what Higbees determined to represent the magic of the season. Ralphie, of course had his eye on one thing—an official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.
Holiday Displays have been sought for generations because of their ability to tell a unique story, adding a little childlike wonder to our shopping experience. Things have come a long way since the days where a static scene was the norm. Here is a list of retailers who have won with their interactive, fun holiday displays.
Lord & Taylor, NYC
This iconic display has long been considered one of the best, and for good reason.
They’re the oldest department store in the U.S., and they’ve been creating animated displays in their Manhattan store since 1937. This year’s display tells a story, using whimsical woodland creatures who don their own winter attire and lively personalities. Using hand-carved characters and animated digital technology, the windows magically create the “full experience for [their] customers.” This display is a win because it’s not about the product, but about the experience.
While the display at Barney’s isn’t visually interactive, it wins because of the social interaction it promotes.
Collaborating with several artists and sending a message to all, the Love, Peace, and Joy display is a contemporary design that will definitely encourage passerby’s to take pause. The interaction is between the viewers and their social circles; for each #LovePeaceJoyProject share, Barney’s New York Foundation will donate to charity.
Although this display doesn’t visually embody tradition, the message certainly does. After all, this season is about more than the tangible gifts we can give.
Jonathan Turnbull, UK
The weather outside doesn’t have to be frightful for you to experience the beauty of snow in front of Jonathan Turnbull’s interactive display.
This menswear retailer has beautifully blended a traditional display of their product with an interactive element. When onlookers stand in front of the LED screen, they are immersed in a winter wonderland, complete with snowfall and the sounds of blustery winds.
Using face-recognition technology, this display captures the viewer’s image and places it in the snowy scene for a moment, giving those who experience the magic an opportunity to share on Facebook. Managing Director David Kingsley says this “gives the in-store experience the edge” over its online competition.
Of course our fourth display also resides in NYC; this section of Manhattan has long been set apart for their extravagant holiday displays. Bloomingdale’s is no exception.
Their display, focusing on the theme of light, is certainly an embodiment of the word. Eight store front windows shine with artistic creations that will create an interaction beyond the end of the holiday shopping season. When the time for display is finished, each fixture will be auctioned off to benefit the Child Mind Institute. This display reminds us that giving extends beyond one season.
While each display featured differs greatly from the others, there is a unified spirit among them. Each one of these retailers have grabbed hold of a concept worth celebrating: giving, and giving back, is far better than receiving.