IMAGES: FIRST CHRISTMAS
Management

CHRISTMAS DECORATION. HOW CENTERS BECOME PLACES OF HEIGHTENED EMOTION

If it is true that a shopping center has to be a distinctive brand, then it needs the right Christmas decoration. “Never from the catalog, never off the shelf” is First Christmas’s motto. The decoration specialist therefore produces no catalogs, instead featuring a large design department with interior designers, lighting designers, and set builders.

Centers are supposed to be the stage for quite a lot of emotion, after all. “These emotions,” says First Christmas founder Kersten Rosenau, “are the most important. Our centers must be highly emotional places because e-commerce cannot compete with that!” What thrills some, leaves other cold, however. First Christmas therefore relies on accurate analysis and ample creativity. A matter of opinions and action.

CASE STUDY 1 – HÖFE AM BRÜHL (LEIPZIG/GERMANY)

Branding:
A center for young urban professionals and more affluent tourists. Architecture: ultra modern, futuristic. Four courtyards, two named “essential feeling” (one with a wall of plants, the other with a water wall), one fashion, one media.

The Christmas Design from First Christmas:
XXL New York style, minimalist, classy, and impressive. A different decoration for each courtyard. In the “essential feeling” courtyard with the giant wall of plants shone the largest pine cones in the world. In the courtyard with the water wall hung enormous, impressive ice crystals. The largest necklaces in the world hung in the fashion courtyard. All these designs were developed specially for the customer. Last but not least, the media courtyard was fitted with an incredible, computer-animated light show displayed on 12 gigantic stars.

IMAGE: FIRST CHRISTMAS

IMAGE: FIRST CHRISTMAS

IMAGES: FIRST CHRISTMAS

The result:
Local TV and radio stations, local newspapers, and even the highest circulating newspaper in Europe –the Bild-Zeitung – reported on the amazing decoration. The decoration really was the talk of the town. A brilliant reinforcement of the center’s positioning!

CASE STUDY 2 – PAUNSDORF CENTER (LEIPZIG/GERMANY)

Branding:
Typical family shopping center. Architecture: long corridors with little or no space for decorations, but with an enormous high-ceilinged courtyard.

The Christmas design from First Christmas:
a decoration for the entire family on the scale of a Disneyland attraction, a dream world for big and small alike. They created the world’s largest elf tree house, where some of the visitors felt they had gone back in time to Christmas at Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

IMAGE: FIRST CHRISTMAS

IMAGE: FIRST CHRISTMAS

IMAGE: FIRST CHRISTMAS

IMAGES: FIRST CHRISTMAS

The result:
Tens of thousands of children were delighted and came back time and time again with parents, grandparents, or neighbors. They wanted to see the elves again and again. The directors of the center’s owner came, too, and saw the amazing success with their own eyes and decided to leave the tree house standing until Easter. First Christmas had not just created a decoration, but a recreation center.

Sign up for our ACROSS Newsletter. Subscribe to ACROSS Magazine.

Management MORE

People in move

Recruitments, promotions and appointments...

Food and Beverage Down Under

A look at Australia: A “Hospitality Mindset” to drive sales and deliver positive experiences in spite of Covid-19.

Outlook 2021

Most experts in the European placemaking industry have adopted a consciously positive stance with regard to the recently commenced business year.

Vacant retail spaces as Instagrammable experiences

Although empty shop windows have always been part of running a shopping center, there are more around than most center managers might like. The good news is that they are opportunities to create bite-sized experiences that support the trend towards “shoppertainment”.

People in move

Recruitments, promotions and appointments...

“There is no Playbook for this Situation”

The most difficult part of business is making decisions during a crisis, explains Walter Seib, CEO of HMSHost International, with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic. He believes that as countries open up and vaccines become available, people will travel and return to airport F&B.