Close
 

Behind the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas windows

  • Design
  • November 30, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Behind the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas windows

It’s the highlight of the festive season for many shoppers: the day when Auckland department store Smith and Caughey’s opens the curtains at the front of its store to reveal a tiny animated world that’s all about Christmas. Smith and Caughey’s special projects manager Kevin Broadfoot shares the effort that goes into creating it.

Preparations for the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas window usually start a year out from the planned reveal, Broadfoot says. He’s already working on the 2018 window as we speak – the window presentations aren’t his only job throughout the year, but they’re one of his favourites.

Broadfoot’s first task is to find a Christmas story to base the window on. Every Smith and Caughey’s Christmas window is based on a Christmas story, which can be from anywhere around the world: “If I can find a Christmas book, that obviously helps us decide what to do.”

Broadfoot looks for a story that will translate readily into animation and a multi-panel format. The theme for 2017 is A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas.

When he finds one that appeals and will work, he approaches the publisher to begin the process of gaining permission to use it.

“This can be a process, it depends on where the book is published. We look worldwide.”

Once permission has been secured, Broadfoot approaches the team which builds the intricate moving figurines that make up the windows. For the past 11 years, Smith and Caughey’s has used Queensland firm Promotions in Motion – although the company is Australian, the majority of its team are former Kiwis.

Promotions in Motion assesses the chosen story to see whether it can be successfully animated. If it approves, Broadfoot starts adjusting the story’s narrative arc so it fits into Smith and Caughey’s 11 shop windows.

“I essentially pull the story apart to see if it fits into the windows nicely.”

He will then meet with Promotions in Motion in Noosa to brainstorm the presentation as if it’s a movie. The team will do 2D mock-ups of their planned figurines, some computerized and some sketched.

By March, the team will be able to physically start fabricating the window presentation. They send Broadfoot a monthly update, usually with images. When the project is 80 percent finished, Broadfoot heads back to Australia to preside over the final tweaks.

By late August, the project is usually complete. Promotions in Motion prepares the modules for shipping, and must have them on the boat bound for New Zealand by early October. The timeline is tight, says Broadfoot: “There’s not really a Plan B if something happens.”

The shipment has never hit a snag on the way over, but if it did, Broadfoot says Smith and Caughey’s would be likely to import a different presentation by air freight.

“It would probably not be what we intended, but at least it would be something.”

The Promotions in Motion team come to New Zealand to install the Smith and Caughey’s Christmas window in its rightful home. The department store aims to reveal it during the first two to three days of November – since 2015, it’s thrown a street party to honour the event.

This year, 60 children from Park Estate School in Papakura were invited to be Smith and Caughey’s “special guests” for the evening. Pirate magicians, balloon makers, carol singers and a plentiful supply of milk and cookies were on hand to keep them entertained before Santa turned up in a red Corvette.

“Then, all mayhem broke loose, as you can imagine, with the kids so excited,” Broadfoot says.

The Smith and Caughey’s team counted down from 10 to zero before they parted a curtain to reveal the Christmas window.

“It’s one of those absolute, total magic moments,” says Broadfoot. “The kids are stunned. It’s magic. They go home very happy and excited.”

Asked which of the animated Christmas windows is his favourite, Broadfoot says he thinks each year’s one is always the best, but this year’s is his favourite “by far”. The team has stepped up its creativity, animation and puppet quality – plus, it features his favourite motif, pirates.

“We do it for the children,” Broadfoot says. “It’s our gift to them to create some wonderful memories when they come to the city and come to the store.” 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

North City shopping centre is under new management

  • Property
  • July 18, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
North City shopping centre is under new management

Porirua shopping centre North City has been purchased by Australian property business Angaet Group from Kiwi Property, and Colliers International has been appointed manager of the centre.

Read more
 
 

Kathmandu appoints vice president of sales and marketing for North America

  • Who's Where
  • July 17, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Kathmandu appoints vice president of sales and marketing for North America

Kiwi outdoor gear retailer Kathmandu has appointed Bill Chandler to the newly-created position of vice president of sales and marketing, Kathmandu North America.

Read more
 
 

Several designers announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
Several designers announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

Alongside the announcement of Turet Knuefermann opening for New Zealand Fashion Week, the week-long fashion exhibition includes several other big names of New Zealand designers, including first launches and classic returns.

Read more
 
topics
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

How businesses are celebrating Matariki

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
How businesses are celebrating Matariki

The Maori New Year is increasing in cultural prominence each year, and some say it's only a matter of time before it becomes an official holiday. Here's how some Kiwi businesses market Matariki this year.

Read more
 
 

Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff launches a new fitness nutrition brand

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
  • Caitlin Salter
Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff launches a new fitness nutrition brand

Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff has set up shop in the US alongside former Stolen creative director Kelvin Soh to found a venture studio in New York called New New. And now, the company has just debuted its most recent venture: Weekday Warriors, a direct-to-consumer nutrition company making premium fitness-related convenience products for busy people. Duff has a chat about the new project, as well as breaking into the US market.

Read more
 

Wellington raincoat-maker Okewa creates a sustainable new line

  • Design
  • July 16, 2018
  • Findlay Buchanan
Wellington raincoat-maker Okewa creates a sustainable new line

Wellington based fashion brand, Okewa, is set to unveil its new capsule of mens and womens coats made from 100 percent recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. The new range will be released next Thursday and will be available for pre-order on the Okewa website and via Kickstarter as part of Plastic-Free July. It presents a new direction for Okewa, who is moving down the sustainability route for its high-quality rainwear range. Founders and loving partners Nevada and Nick Leckie share insights into its new clothing line as well as musings of the brand's origins founded in the windiest city in the world.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita@tangiblemedia.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}