HAMBURG, Germany, November 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Cross reference: Picture is available at epa european pressphoto agency (http://www.epa.eu) and http://www.presseportal.de/pm/107405/ -
In the ever more relentless struggle with online retailers to win over consumers, the traditional retail sector is increasingly exploiting its own characteristic strengths. "The coming Christmas shopping season gives it a clear advantage. Real Christmas spirit cannot be found online!" explains Dr. Kersten Rosenau, founder of the Hamburg-based specialist Christmas decoration company First Christmas (http://www.firstchristmas.de), which operates worldwide. To build on this advantage, the retail trade is investing more money in Christmas decorations this year. "The shopping centres view spectacular Christmas decorations as their chance to be seen as "Christmas centres", the place where you can experience Christmas like nowhere else!" Rosenau adds.
Just putting up some tinsel and a couple of stars is no longer enough. Expectations are growing. Rosenau gives accounts of 30 metre high illuminated trees (Westfield, London), 120 kilo pine cones (Höfe am Brühl, Leipzig) and the biggest illuminated angels (Centrum Chodov, Prague) in the world. In 2012, many decorations are XXL in German shopping centres and, as the expert knows, this is also the case in most other European countries. "We have been serving small, large and even ultra-large shopping malls for many years in locations such as Dubai, Milan, London and Moscow, and we have a particularly strong presence in Germany. This year, across all the countries, we can see a desire to make the Christmas decorations in shopping centres much more lavish than they were a few years ago." reports Rosenau. Another trend is the combination of light, often including changes in colour, with music. There are computer-controlled star shows following the New York model, and 25 metre high trees made from balls of light, each one computer-controlled.
A one- to two-year planning period is not uncommon and decorating a centre often costs 500,000 euros or more. Nowadays it is the responsibility of highly specialised interior designers, set designers, theatre dramaturgs and event technicians, who create appropriate Christmas staging tailored to suit the building. "When the Christmas decorations in shopping centres are switched on, traditionally around the start of Advent, over 500 specialists will have carried out their work for our company alone, having professionally decorated more than 100 shopping centres. "Putting online retailers into a real sweat," laughs Rosenau.
Dr. Kersten Rosenau, First Christmas by ROSENAU GmbH