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Sarah Shephard, contributing senior editor, interiors, at business intelligence provider, Stylus, gives her trend predictions for Christmas 2013.

Tundra Christmas “The wild, untamed landscapes of the Arctic tundra are a starting point for a theme with potential for broad commercial application. Products inspired by the animals and traditions of the frozen north are popular with children and families, while the big outdoors focus has a more masculine and active edge. A concept that draws heavily on nature, Tundra also appeals to the eco- focused consumer.”

Alchemy Christmas “For an unapologetically modern market, Alchemy transforms mathematical and scientific concepts into product with a strong sensory appeal. Craft with a modern edge drives the ideas, appealing to an urban consumer who enjoys contemporary art and seeks new ideas for Christmas, that most traditional of festivals.”

Glamour Christmas “Drawing inspiration from the celebrity culture of 1970s’ New York, Glamour has broad mass-market appeal covering a range of product categories. The element of escapism targets a consumer ground down by years of economic slowdown. With the accent on entertainment, Glamour provides all the ideas to make the party season swing with an upbeat, decadent energy.”

and tacky. They should choose their

Christmas music and scents

carefully so they chime with the brand and make customers want to linger,” says Claude Nahon, president of Mood Media Europe. Another of the survey’s findings showed

that retailers and other businesses should be aware that the UK public doesn’t like Christmas starting too early - 75 per cent of those surveyed said Christmas music should only be played in shops and shopping centres from 1 December. Following the rules dictated by the

exacting consumer is all very well but with budgets squeezed getting the most out of Christmas decorations is the number one priority, as Fuzzwire CEO Mark Lean explains: “I’ve noticed, particularly last year, that client’s expectations are increasingly higher. Landlords have to look after the commercial side, the brand and their KPIs, so Christmas decorations and displays have got to contribute to driving revenue by increasing footfall and dwell time as well as having the wow factor - it’s

got to be imaginative while ticking the commercial boxes. Expectations are higher since the rise of online and because

attracting consumers is more of a challenge, landlords and managers need to deliver an experience but they’re also looking for value.”


So with shopping

centres under increasing pressure to deliver an experience over and above the convenience of online shopping, creating that ‘wow factor’ has become increasingly important. We ask the experts what they expect to be big for Christmas 2013,

drawing on trends seen at the Christmasworld exhibition in Frankfurt.

COLOURS & MATERIALS While Andrew Bontoft, director at The Seasonal Group, says predicting next season’s trends is never easy, he expects

many of his clients to choose traditional displays depicting Dickensian and Victorian street scenes, inspired by period TV dramas. “Premium floor space which was once

allocated for displays is now being given way to cafés and mobile retail units, so whilst animated displays might be on the decline, those shopping centres that do plan for them, do them to impress on a large scale,” says Bontoft. “So displays, whilst not as common are becoming bigger, and have more ‘wow’ appeal with new technology and better quality characters. “Decorations are still in high demand,

and even here the traditional theme gets preference, even the modern and contemporary designs will have a touch of tradition about them. I would expect 2013 to include plenty of textural effects, created either by specialist materials and fabrics but also using the wealth of new technology available for some stunning lighting effects.” Like Bontoft, Fuzzwire’s Lean has also seen a wider use of different technologies and materials as well as a move towards modern twists on a traditional theme. “There is a market for traditional themes with garlands and animated characters like Father Christmas but some clients are taking Christmas to a more contemporary level while retaining that traditional element, taking a traditional festive story, for example, and combining it with a futuristic feel and modern characters,” he says. He’s also seen a big trend in community

initiatives, something James Glancy Design has explored in recent years, doing a lot of work around incorporating children’s designs into Christmas decorations. Children drew

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