Snow storms, gingerbread cookies, holiday tunes -- there are many staples that give you that warm “holiday feel.” And for many of us, holiday windows are among these, especially in New York City. For years, people from around the globe flock to see what department stores will unveil in their winter windows, while retailers look to entice people to buy.
This long-standing tradition of holiday window displays dates back to the late 1800s when retailers started popping up in big cities across the States. Windows became crucial for these large retailers trying to compete against one another -- and it still is.
Merging a decorative display with merchandise, department stores today use their window displays to build foot traffic and boost sales, which can help combat competitors in the ecommerce space.
And with holiday shopping accounting for over 22 percent of annual sales for retailers in 2014, it’s no surprise that retailers go above and beyond with their window decor. As this number is only rising, the National Retail Foundation forecasts holiday sales to increase by 3.6 percent this year.
In the Big Apple department stores pull out all the stops to attract customers -- and rightfully so. As a major tourist hub, New York City had 58 million tourists in 2015, according to NYC & Company, an organization that promotes tourism in the five boroughs. This number is predicted to grow to 60 million this year, with 5 million expected between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day alone. Combine tourism with the holidays and retailers have their perfect scenario for booming sales.
Tiffany’s, Henry Bendel, Macy’s and others are known for their extravagant windows during the holiday season. But you don’t have to be a major retailer in a huge city to create talked-about holiday windows. Indeed, with some collaboration with other local retailers, your community can have a bustling holiday push of its own. You just may need a bit of inspiration from the big guys.
Check out the seven best holiday windows in the Big Apple and what you can learn from them.