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This Holiday's Wow-Factor Shop Windows Forget deck the halls. These retailers decked out their windows for unforgettable buzz and branding. Which ideas will inspire your next great display?

By Linda Lacina

entrepreneur daily
Lord & Taylor
Animatronic illustrations captivate a girl looking at Lord & Taylor's shop windows in New York.

Forget shopping -- gaping at holiday shop windows is a sport all its own. The best displays capture imaginations and create one-of-a-kind branding buzz. Some of this year's windows utilize special technologies and social media to help spread their shop's name during this critical holiday shopping season. Here are some of our favorites, to get you in the spirit of the season (and get you thinking about your own windows for next year).

Image Credit: Lord

Lord & Taylor

In advance of Lord & Taylor's 100th anniversary in its flagship Manhattan location, the department store chose windows that highlighted its long-time heritage. Window scenes bring old New York to life, showcasing vintage scenes of shoppers looking for gifts, sitting with Santa and even enjoying a leisurely lunch or tea in the shop's legendary restaurant.

Image Credit: Lord

Lord & Taylor

Fun facts: Nearly 50 people create Lord & Taylor's windows throughout a period of 9 months. The windows weigh nearly 2,000 pounds and are the some of the only department store windows on hydraulics. According to Lord & Taylor, 250,000 people pass by its windows between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Image Credit: Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman's windows are the showpiece of Fifth Avenue and the piece de resistance for gawkers doing the holiday window walking tour each holiday. This year's windows reimagine a calendar's worth of holidays through ice and looks from top fashion designers. Pictured here: The Fourth of July.

Image Credit: Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

April Fool's Day on ice

Image Credit: Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Valentine's Day on ice

Image Credit: Ricky Zehavi

Bergdorf Goodman

Halloween on ice

Image Credit: Macy

Macy’s

Macy's Herald Square was one of the first department stores to feature holiday windows in the 1870s. This year's windows explore the story of young boy's dream on Christmas Eve, tying in with the retailer's annual "Believe" holiday campaign. High-definition LED lights bring fairies to life and interactive technologies let viewers shatter icicles and watch their shards spell "J-O-Y."

Image Credit: Macy

Macy’s

Here a young boy helps fairies decorate forest trees using "droplets" from a crystal waterfall that have turned into hand-blown glass ornaments.

Image Credit: Rebecca Dale

Henri Bendel

Accessories retailer Henri Bendel imagines the ultimate dinner party for its New York flagship's windows. The guests include a range of entertainers from stage and screen including Carol Channing, Whoopi Goldberg and Woody Allen. Each are three-dimensional renderings of drawings first created by the celebrated illustrator Al Hirschfeld.

Image Credit: Rebecca Dale

Henri Bendel

Audrey Hepburn is one of the many personalities brought to life in these Al Hirschfeld-inspired windows.

Image Credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

This year's Saks Fifth Avenue windows in New York tell the story of a fictional Yeti who lives atop the iconic retailer and how he came to New York to become a celebrated snowflake artist.

Image Credit: Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Anthropologie, a women's apparel retailer known for clothing that merges modern and old world elements, used wooden cutouts, yarn and embroidery to give homage to Eastern European folklore at the retailer's Rockefeller Center location.

Image Credit: Anthropologie

Anthropologie

Thousands of wooden furniture pegs were handwrapped in yarn to create bears and wolves in Anthropologie's Rockefeller Center windows.

Image Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

Hammacher Schlemmer

This year, Hammacher Schlemmer returned to New York and celebrated 165 years in the city. Its windows celebrated what's to come, with an exploration theme that highlights the retailer's sometimes over-the-top products. The window on the left features the 7-foot Robby the Robot, a life-sized animatronic recreation of the machine from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. On the left sits a Hyrdo Powered Jetovator, a flying seat that can suspend a rider 25 feet in the air thank to powerful jets of water.

Linda Lacina

Entrepreneur Staff

Linda Lacina is the former managing editor at Entrepreneur.com. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Family Circle. Email her at llacina@entrepreneur.com. Follow her at @lindalacina on Twitter. 

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