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Window shopping – beautifully creative window displays

The first window displays were initially used in shops in the Victorian Era, when plate glass became more affordable shop owners were able to build large windows, which spanned the length of their shops and the merchandise could then be displayed in the hope to draw in customers. Up until then, shop owners would use boards and place them outside the door to advertise their goods. Large London department stores, by the 1950s most retailers realised the impact of window displays, it was a great way to advertise their wares and drawer customers into their store, especially during the Christmas season.

Nowadays, window displays are much more than a smart way of marketing; they are a work of art, creating magical and theatrical scenes. Famous department stores in London, from Hamleys – to Harrords have stopped shoppers in their tracks to gaze in awe at the creative displays in their store windows.

Harrods, one of the most iconic stores in London, has the reputation for creating some of the most amazing window displays. Their reputation for luxury merchandise means that money is no object when it comes to window dressing at their store. This is especially so during holiday seasons, such a Christmas and Easter. These displays, which sometimes take as long as a month to install, show off high-end jewellery, designer clothing and exclusive gifts.

Another gem in London’s exclusive shopping experience: Selfridges, resides in Oxford Street. This store, foundered by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909, was one of the first department stores to use front window displays, this prompting other stores to follow suit. Nowadays, thousands of man hours are invested to create unique visual merchandising, showing mannequins dressed in the latest fashions direct from Paris and New York, as well as exclusive luxury items. Christmas 2016 saw their 12 shop windows transformed into a zodiac theme. This creation involved the work of over 500 employees!

Knightsbridge is the home to Harvey Nichols department store, founded in 1831; although smaller than Harrods and Selfridges, they do not skimp when it comes to their window displays. Imaginative, elaborate and colourful displays tempt customers from all over the world.

New York’s, Macy’s, one of the most famous stores in the world, has a reputation for producing some of the most elaborate and stunning window displays. Opened in 1868, New Yorkers and visitors alike have made a beeline to Macy’s, just to catch a glimpse of their legendary window displays. It is during the holiday season that Macy’s department store pulls out all the stops to showcase its stunning Christmas displays. Macy’s window designer, Roya Sullivan, creates amazing animated windows using the latest technology, together with a dash of nostalgia. Roya Sullivan explains to Entrepreneur, “We are interested in exciting our customers and creating experiences that the customers will enjoy.”

Window dressing involves elaborately planned projects; some large department stores hiring specialist designers to dress their windows, and will spend a fortune in order to create something unique.

Window displays are beautifully creative way for a brand to advertise their merchandise, and it’s a trend which has and will always be a popular one.