Installing Longleat’s Christmas Shop & My 10 VM Tips for a Successful Christmas

by | Oct 30, 2023

It was fantastic to be back at Longleat House and Safari Park this month, for our first Christmas installation of 2023 ! Myself and my team loved installing Longleat’s Christmas Shop which is now officially open to the public !

Working on this project has inspired me to create a blog post this month detailing my top 10 Visual Merchandising tips for creating a successful Christmas Shop……

10 Visual Merchandising Top Tips For Creating a Successful Christmas Shop

  1. Creating theatre and atmosphere within your Christmas shop will help to engage your customer and create that ultimate Christmas experience your customer is looking for. Take inspiration from some of London’s top department stores, who create magical theatre within their windows and displays by using props, lighting and interactive point of sale. I regular order display props from DZD, an industry favourite for props and bespoke creative installations who are based in the UK. You can take a look at their website
  2. Implementing a strong Christmas theme or story, that your customer can follow throughout their journey, starting with your store window following through to your in store space will create a more consistent message for your customer. Including QR codes within your window and on in store signage can also connect your customer to your digital channels. Incorporate your Christmas design scheme through to your E-commerce header banner and social posts, to create a stronger and consistent campaign message for your customer.
  3. Create a commercial connection to your Christmas window by creating a hot spot / promotional space at the front of your store which features the same ranges , brands and merchandise which you have featured within your windows. Your Christmas hot spot space should also feature similar props and POS to match those used within your window. Remember to change the merchandise range within this promotional space every time you change the stock within your window.
  4. We have seen evidence over the past few years that brands who have a positive story have an inspirational appeal on our customers. Therefore, ensure that you are visually telling your brands story and the stories of the brands you stock. This can be done by creating POS which details the suppliers story, using lots of visual references on signage can be very useful and engaging for the customer. You can also help to visually tell a brands story by using props and displays which are in line with the brands ethos.
  5. Link selling is key within Visual Merchandising and using the key techniques which can be found detailed on my earlier blog post for Ankorstart, can assist you in up selling multiple products to your customer. Great examples of link selling within a Christmas shop can found at Selfridges, who have created themed Christmas trees which help to inspire the customer upon how to style their own tree. All decorations which have been dressed on the tree can be found next to the display, creating an excellent example of the “ see it, like it, buy it “ experience. Creating signage which details the tree theme and gives an idea of total price and the quantity of the decorations used can be useful information for the customer.
  6. To create effective table dressing, construct central height within the middle of the table that will create eye line level height and assist with drawing your customers attention over the space. When displaying Christmas decorations take inspiration from department stores; Liberty and Selfridges who have created height by using a variety of tall and shallow glass jars and coloured acrylic to add a variety of height to their tables and help to break up the ranges of products they are displaying.
  7. Transform conventional slat wall systems by either covering these with thick coloured paper or with coloured vinyl. This can also assist you to bring your Christmas and colour theme through to your fixtures. Hanging Christmas decorations in parallel drops can assist with creating an easier to shop space. This technique also allows a collection of products to be displayed together, creating possible link selling opportunities. Our eye finds it easier to focus upon 1 metre drops of wall bays, so working within a 1 metre width space and running merchandise in parallel drops makes this easier for our customers to look at and shop.
  8. To create a more effective store layout and to consider customer flow within your store. Your Christmas range or shop space can be used as a department that will always attract the customer, hence being referred to as a “Pull “ range or product. Department stores like Liberty and Selfridges have located their Christmas shop spaces within their less busier floors, creating more customer flow now within those floor spaces. My recommendations for creating effective store layout within your Christmas shop would be to create a clear walkway which runs from the entrance of your shop through to the back space. Hanging decorations above the walkway or using POS or floor graphics can assist with leading the customer throughout the space successfully. Consider using Christmas lighting on the back wall to create a strong focal point for the customer as they enter a space, helping to lead their eye throughout the floor space.
  9. The multi sensory experience has been a popular way of creating more interest for your customer to visit your store in person on a regular basis. We have seen many brands from luxury through to our independent retailers creating pop up shops and experiences in store for our customer’s which have become very popular in the past few years. Consider creating additional Christmas themed activities or services over the festive period which will attract your customers to repeat visit your store. This could be creating a hospitality offer, exclusive product launches , crafting activities and workshops. Talk to your customer about these events through your digital channels to engage more customer interest.
  10. Look at trend forecasting websites for ideas on festive and seasonal trends. I would recommend looking at Trend Bible and WGSN. Both of these businesses have useful information on seasonal trends, colours and product category trends. You can get more information on these two businesses following the links below ;

Trend Forecasting | Trend Bible | Future Consumer Insights



Trend Forecasting & Analytics 2024-2032


All Images Copyright of VMC

Sarah Manning VMC Christmas 2023
Sarah Manning VMC Christmas 2023
Sarah Manning VMC Christmas 2023
Sarah Manning VMC Christmas Longleat 2023