MK Illumination maintained its status as the world market leader in festive decorative lighting in 2019 and expanded its operations considerably over the year. The Tirolean company, headquartered in Innsbruck, increased its turnover by around 4% from 2018 to EUR 135 million, with significant growth coming from prestige projects in North and Central America, and the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai.
“It’s been an exciting year, full of growth both externally and internally, which is the best way to grow,” says Klaus Mark, founder and CEO of MK Illumination. “From shopping centers to cities, open spaces to zoos, hotels and attractions to private residences, our reach has expanded significantly. To support that, we’ve strengthened our processes, increased our team, and extended our production facilities, and we’re looking forward doing even more in 2020.”
Christmas light from Manhattan to Shanghai
In North America, the company once again outshone its competition, delivering projects through its American Christmas division for luminaries like Saks Fifth Avenue, Empire Outlets and Hudson Yards. Strong growth in Mexico was evident in Antara Fashion Mall in Mexico City, and the recently opened Artz Pedegral Mall. Canada was not to be left behind and their light sculptures in Vancouver’s English Bay and illumination of Old Montreal left residents and visitors in awe.
Credit: MK Illumination
In China, the company continued to create a festive atmosphere in spaces as diverse as shopping streets and centers, including Shanghai’s Bund and Nanjing Roads, the luxurious Jing’an Kerry Centre, the Ruihong Lifestyle Plaza and the Hongqiao Tiendi Center.
Consistently strong European sales
European sales remained consistently high in 2019, with retail spaces well-represented. The spectrum of tailor-made shopping center showcase projects in Europe this year includes Westfield in London, the Mall of Scandinavia in Stockholm, the Hessen Center in Frankfurt, the Royal Albert Docks in Liverpool, the Armazéns do Chiado Center in Lisbon, IFC Mall in Korea, the Rødovre Centrum in Denmark, Väla Centrum in Helsingborg, the G3 Shopping Resort in Gerasdorf.
“It’s clear that festive lighting makes a difference in attracting visitors,” said Mark. “It’s incredibly helpful in stimulating winter tourism: we’ve seen traditional ‘summer’ destinations like Salerno in Italy, St. Wolfgang on Lake Wolfgang in Austria, and Koper in Slovenia dramatically increase visitors and overnight stays, in part because of the festive lighting.”
Light Parks deliver real-life, screen-free experiences
The company’s Light Parks opened across the globe and attracted tens of thousands of visitors, with two brand new attractions opening in Garmisch, Germany, and Rondouko, Tochigi, Japan, and temporary lighting experiences appearing in zoos like Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark and Joburg Zoo, South Africa.
“Our Light Parks offer people a real-life experience and represent a conscious counterpoint to the digital world. There’s more to life than screens,” says Mark about the positive reception of the Light Parks.
In line with the strong company growth, production capacities were expanded and around one hundred new employees were hired worldwide.