Retail Holidays: 13 Holiday Window Display Ideas

Retail Holidays: 13 Holiday Window Display Ideas

Holiday window displays are a great (and fun) branding exercise — they’re an opportunity to show off your products in a way that catches the eye of your target customers. When should you decorate your shop’s window for the holidays? Early.

Forty percent of consumers actually start their holiday shopping before Halloween. And according to the National Retail Federation, 68 percent of retailers had their highest sales revenue on Black Friday last year. This means you should start planning your holiday window ideas now and get everything set up before Thanksgiving.

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Here are 13 ideas for creating retail holiday window displays that really pop.

  • Product or brand: Decide if your main objective is to show off your products or illustrate your store’s brand. Anthropologie focuses on brand year round and its holiday window displays are often striking and whimsical. Next, draw out a plan before you start.

  • Avoid clutter: Clean, carefully curated holiday window displays have a stronger visual impact than displays stuffed to the gills with products. This is especially true with more expensive items. When pricy items are crammed together, they look cheap.

  • Pique curiosity: Many successful retail holiday window displays allow people to see through into the store.

  • Choose a star product: Pick one item as the focal point of your display. This is usually a higher-price item that’s visually striking. Be sure to put ample space around it for greater impact.

  • Create a scene: Some holiday window ideas to get the creative juices flowing include a snowy meadow with animals, a cozy living room on Christmas Eve, a ski slope, etc.

  • Repurpose familiar objects: Cotton balls or marshmallows hanging from fishing line can become snow. Or dangle painted lightbulbs fashioned to look like Christmas tree decorations. Commonplace objects repurposed in unusual ways make for striking and inexpensive holiday window displays.

  • Make a tree: Arrange merchandise in a triangular tower like a Christmas tree. For retail holiday window displays, think shoes stacked on wooden blocks for shoe stores, or a pyramid of books for bookstores.

  • Surprise and delight: How you do this depends on your brand. Many stores create visually beautiful holiday window displays, but a dose of humor can also be effective.

  • Create height: Successful holiday window ideas put products at eye level where people can easily see them. Use the window’s vertical space for better visibility and to create a more dynamic display. Display products on wooden crates arranged into shelves, stacked tables, or on a ladder (which incidentally also makes a great Christmas tree shape). Or hang objects from the ceiling.

  • Get crafty: Many of the most innovative holiday window displays have a homemade, crafted look. Think snowflakes cut from newspaper or coffee filters, or even pinecone snowflakes, instead of mass-produced decorations.

  • Light it up: In addition to Christmas tree lights, use spotlights to illuminate and design lighting so your display pops both day and night.

  • Start a movement: Use a fan to give your retail holiday window display a more dynamic, kinetic element.

  • Walk by: Go outside and walk by your store window. What catches your eye? Is it easy to see everything? Next, drive by and note what you can see and what’s lost. Then adjust your display accordingly.

Now that you have some good holiday window ideas, you’ve got everything you need to start planning a unique display that helps bring customers into your store.

Image credit: “38.Macys.MetroCenter.WDC” by Elvert Barnes, Flickr, CC by SA 2.0, cropped from original.

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