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A retailer that does Christmas well…

Potters of Hockley are an award-winning retailer and fellow bira member. Each year they create attention-grabbing Christmas displays that bring customers from all over to the shop.

We asked Tom Carter, Director of Potters of Hockley, a few questions about their plans for Christmas.

How early do you start planning your Christmas promotion?

We actually start planning Christmas promotions and windows in January. The process starts with a trip to Harrogate and Spring fair trade shows then visiting Premier in South Ruislip in March and placing our orders there. Stock then turns up in August and September. We start making our props very early in the year as this can be quite time consuming.

What elements make up your Christmas window?

Having two shops, Inifer Potter and Potters cookshop we have a lot of windows! They are both split in two, one for products and the other with a Christmas theme or story. We try to make a spectacular themed window for both which we find encourages people to visit.

When do you implement the promotion?

All our Christmas promotions and displays are done no later than the 5th November (fireworks night), we find this is the time customers start thinking about spending.

What makes a successful Christmas campaign?

Quality products, promotions at very competitive prices, knowledgeable staff and great service. We also make it fun and exciting to give customers a reason to visit the store. The windows must stand out! This year we have a 7ft animated polar bear and giant white stag to entice people in and then they will have a look around the shop at our products and hopefully buy some goods.

Has one of your previous Christmas promotions stood out?

No particular one has stood out. We just try every year to make the next one even better and different from before, maybe this year will be the one that stands out!

What advice would you give a retailer looking to start making more of their displays?

The most important thing is to make them fun! If you get the children dragging their parents along to see the window displays then you are half way there. See what is trending as well, must have presents, then just make sure you are the same price as the internet so they don’t go elsewhere.