It’s no secret that shopping centers and retail spaces need to be careful about visitor numbers this year. Too few, and the impact is economic. Too many, and centers might fall foul of safety regulations and putting the health of employees and visitors at risk. That’s why, even in countries where the December weather isn’t the best, shopping centers are exploring outdoor-only festive concepts as well as indoor-outdoor solutions.
“It makes sense,” said Thomas Mark, President of MK Illumination. “Outdoor areas offer fresh air, more space, and an increased feeling of safety. As a company that works with boosting mood and creating emotion using light and design, we can say with some confidence that making people feel safe is going to be an important part of festive lighting and decoration this year.”
At local offices worldwide, MK Illumination’s managing directors have reported a singnificant increases in questions from shopping centers about how to turn Christmas 2020 into a celebration of the outdoors.
“We’ve worked with both cities and shopping centers for 24 years, so it’s fair to say that have equal expertise in creating indoor and outdoor festive experiences,” says Mark. “Design is important, as this is not only aesthetic, but also important in controlling visitor flow. So are safety, longevity, and energy.”
Mark isn’t talking about the products that centers choose in their outdoor installations. MK Illumination’s products are designed and manufactured in-house to the highest quality standards. Their LEDs use little energy, and outdoor products are all certified IP67, which protects them from the elements. Low wattage means no “shocking experiences”, too.
“Outdoor solutions range from indoor-outdoor Light Walks to custom festive installations in courtyards, entrances, and even parking lots,” says Mark. “In some cases, we’re helping shopping centers create islands of festive lighting and décor to give people places to relax, reduce anxiety, and enjoy some peace and quiet in the middle of their shopping trips.”
And what are the three key things that Mark would suggest for shopping centers thinking of making their outdoor areas a bigger part of their festive celebrations this year?
“Use simple elements like strings of light to create atmosphere. Combine them with highlight pieces that enforce social distancing. Then build your festive lighting and decoration into your Christmas campaign to create a wholistic experiences for shoppers.”
“And of course, speak to MK Illumination, because we can make your ideas a reality,” he says with a grin.