The bottom line:
COVID-19 has changed the world. People feel unsure and unsafe, but they still want to come together and share memorable experiences. By turning Christmas into a festive event in your shopping center this year, you’ll not only reassure your community but you’ll give them good reasons to come back.
Some things are hard to predict
If you type in the search phrase “retail sector in 2020” into your search engine, you will be inundated with predictions and forecasting articles written by trendsetters and forecasters and retail experts. Unfortunately, none (or none that we’ve found) were able to predict the appearance of COVID-19, its devastating effects on people’s lives, and the impact that it has had on businesses worldwide, including the retail sector.
That’s not to say that some of these trends weren’t realistic, nor is that to say that some of these trends have become an instant reality. The consumer demand for sustainability, the need for retail spaces to stop talking and start acting on digitalized solutions, and the need to come up with innovative solutions to deal with the ever-present threat of e-commerce all require attention right now.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the importance that consumers place on experiences, creating memories with friends and families, and the need to celebrate cultural and religious traditions with the people that matter most. That’s why Christmas and the festive season before and after December 25th will be more important than ever for retail spaces and shopping centers in 2020.
Why is Christmas important for the retail sector?
If you’re a shopping center manager, you’ll no doubt have data to support just how big an impact Christmas has on sales for your tenants. The festive season is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase significantly as people buy presents for their loved ones, decorate their homes and offices, and throw parties to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
In 2020, people will still want to do this all, but they’ll need more. They’ll also need to feel secure, and the combination of celebrating an annual festivity like Christmas combined with light, atmosphere, and good cheer can help you give your community what it needs.
Importantly, by giving the community what it needs, you’ll be bringing people back to your center, which is just as important for shopping centers, malls, and their tenants.
Three ways that Christmas lighting and decoration can make a difference this year
There are many ways that lighting and decoration can make a difference to your community, footfall, and the way that people engage with your center. Here are three that we feel are particularly relevant this year:
- The right combination of light and design can alter mood and make people happy
- Light makes people feel safe
- Creative Christmas lighting and decorative concepts create a place for people to celebrate outside the home
Let’s take a look at these one by one.
The right combination of light and design can alter MOOD
It’s been proven that light can improve people’s moods, making them happier and more relaxed. By creating an environment where people feel that they can let their worries fall away, you’re able to invite people to stay longer, shop longer, and enjoy the diverse retail and leisure treats you have on offer.
Light makes people feel safe
Don’t believe us? Think about the last time you went for a walk at night. Did you choose to walk down the dark, unlit street, or did you—consciously or unconsciously—head for the brightly-lit street? Most people choose the latter because light allows us to see what’s around us, illuminates risks, and fills us with a feeling of security. People need to feel safe and secure in these uncertain times, and festive lighting can provide that.
Christmas lighting concepts create a place to celebrate outside of their homes
Zoom. Teams. Skype. These are all fantastic tools for virtual engagement and communication. Sure, some people throw Zoom parties, but we’re social creatures. We want to see people in “real life”. We want to hold hands and hug (if we can), and if we can’t, we certainly want to be able to spend time together in the same space. Christmas is an important time for people to come together and no one wants to do it online. By using light, design, and creative thinking, you can create a festive experience in your shopping center that people simply can’t recreate at home. To experience it, they have to visit the center. To truly enjoy the experience, they need to meet with family and friends. And to remember it, a photo point can help.
As you might guess, we have many more reasons to support the importance of Christmas this year, and we’d love to share them with you.
The Christmas season starts in 5 short months…
No, we’re not trying to steal your summer. In “normal” years, most shopping centers and malls start planning for Christmas in January, but understandably, this year is a little different. We’re all trying to predict what the future will hold, and for some centers, that means that their Christmas planning has been delayed.
If that describes you, we’d encourage you to get in touch for a chat to talk about planning your Christmas lighting and decoration. Our team of lighting experts can suggest solutions and ideas to fill any space, for indoor and outdoor areas, and to meet budgets large and small. Better yet, we planned ahead and have stunning concepts that we can deliver without any problems at all.
Let’s have a chat about Christmas
Every Christmas lighting concept starts with a conversation. Get in touch with one of our local teams and let’s explore how we can apply our global experience and local expertise to help you bring your community back to your space this Christmas.