For me and thousands of others, it’s a Christmas tradition. As soon as the Christmas lights go up on Oxford Street and Regent Street in London I make it my mission to travel to the capital to take a look. As a lighting professional, it also interests me how retailers are increasingly using different types of light to attract shoppers to their window displays and continue the brand extension inside the store itself.
These days, LED lighting presents so many more options for retailers to attract customers. Walk through the retail thoroughfares of the west end of London and you will see what I mean. Retailers are using lighting in different ways to reflect what they stand for as brands and to draw their target customers in. Some window displays look the same irrespective of city or continent. Others reflect something more unique to the location. Lighting solutions can support both approaches.
Some of the biggest advances in LED retail lighting are in evidence with luminous pattern displays. They can transform the way we experience a retail brand by enriching store interiors through integrated colour, texture, light, pattern and movement, housed on a bespoke panel.
Retailers are also now starting to understand that millennials like me have different expectations and see shopping much more as an experience to be enjoyed. We are ready to quickly share our retail experiences on social media sites such as Instagram. Spotted a great window display? Why not share it with your friends?
The trend means that stores need to respond with window displays that are more dynamic but on a practical level, also easy to change. Fashion moves of course at lightning speed. Remote controlled window lighting allows merchandisers to change lighting from an ipad, so dramatic effects can be co-ordinated at the touch of a button, reflecting changes in mood, time of day or a change in window display in its entirety. No need now to climb up and down ladders to change light fittings.
At Christmas and throughout the year, store concepts are much more focused on theatre and drama. So take a walk along Regent Street - or almost any UK high street this year - to see how LED lighting is enabling retailers to create their own special kind of magic.