Deck your halls
Before we know it we’ll be suffocated by the sound of Slade and joyful revellers wearing paper hats.
Make sure you’re more prepared than Santa, and start thinking now about how you are going to trim up your premises. It’s key to a lucrative – and fun – Christmas. To help, Take Stock looks at what decoration trends will bring in the punters and get your jingle bells, and tills, ringing. “Decorating your premises can increase sales by up to 50%,” says Jane McCulloch, retail analyst and Christmas decoration buyer. “Customers get in the festive spirit and feel good and this is translated at the tills.”
Become the destination
Festive and finance go hand in hand. But how you decorate your business can have long-term effects. Done right, it can attract punters for a Christmas look-see and put you on the festive map for years to come. Barton Grange Garden Centre is savvy to this. For the past five years it has won the Garden Centre Association’s ‘Best in the UK Christmas display’ and each year attracts visitors from all over the UK, to get into the Christmas spirit. This year’s theme has not yet been unveiled. “For outlets that also sell the same decorations, sales are increased by as much as 90%,” explains Jane McCulloch. “Consumers often need help and inspiration. They like to see a display and then be able to purchase the same decorations in store.”
Elegance and luxury are key this year, according to leading interior designer Kathryn Hill, with jewel tones such as aubergine, gold and crimson being the top colours. Kathryn explains, “Festive decorations are to get an exotic flair as designers embrace a Dr. Zhivago-inspired aesthetic and seek a decadent look. The shift is partly due to the recession and people’s need to indulge in sophistication and luxury. Christmas is one time when we all like to enjoy high style, rich details, luxurious finishes and sparkle.” Natural materials like pine cones and acorns are set to be popular too. The rustic approach was a main trend at the Christmasworld show in Frankfurt this year where the main display was ‘fantasy forest.’ This combined natural products with finely patterned glass and porcelain with woollen fabrics and felts.
The Scrooge effect
Decorations aren’t just for Christmas! With everyone feeling the pinch, think seasonal rather than festive, start dressing your premises for autumn-winter, but add some sparkle over Christmas. Some trimmings, like lights and candles, can be used before and once Christmas is over. Sara Charlton of Nutcracker Designs, a bespoke Christmas design and decorating company, explains, “Customers are looking for small seasonal investments but are willing to purchase more non-seasonal décor that can be dressed up outside of the Christmas period.”
Get in the professionals
Trimming up is big business, so many call in the professionals to make sure they get it right. thechristmasdecorators.com is an experienced company that promises to create the perfect festive atmosphere. They aim to come up with a plan which suits and removes the pain of decorating your premises, leaving you to concentrate solely on your customer. Prices start at £600 for a simple indoor decoration scheme which may sound expensive but this equates to just £8 per day over the Christmas period.
Extensions of decorations
The tree maybe sparkling but if your tables aren’t then you’re in trouble. Napkins, place settings, and centre pieces should be decorated too. “If you’re catering for a party or sit down meals you have to think about how your tables look,” adds Kathryn Hill. “Balloons, flowers and other decorations are key, but everyone loves to pull a cracker so make sure these are sourced and match your overall colour scheme.”
The importance of kerb appeal
Your festive feel should start from the doorstep. Decorating the outside of your premises has proven to attract trade and is just as important as what’s waiting for them inside. The American obsession of decorating externally has come across the water and drawn us in. Christmas is the one time of year you can indulge and have fun so enjoy decorating your premises. You really will reap the rewards. By creating a fantastic atmosphere your tills are bound to be ringing this Christmas.
- Think who your customers are and be consistent
- Keep your deco in style with your property
- Don’t go mad – less can sometimes be more
- Pick a Christmas theme
- Stretch your budget with an autumn-winter theme