We’ve been out in Leeds battling the Christmas crowds to see what caught our eye this year. Amongst the sea of red, green, gold and silver we’ve spotted a few highlights and trends, which stood out and oozed creativity and originality. Here’s some of our favourites:

The Body Shop

They were very original with their ‘Play for Peace’ campaign this year. The campaign helps refugee children play in a safe place for a year. Every gift purchased from The Body Shop donated a percentage to the International Alert’s Peace Play Project. The campaign was supported by bright and glittery POS encouraging shoppers to use the #PlayforPeace hashtag and upload photos to Instagram. The bright colours created energy and vibrancy, along with the glitter, which made it feel more luxurious. In-store we also found a ‘Personalisation Station’ where you could personalise your own body butter with a message of your choice. Both personalisation and charity donations were trends we spotted a few times this Christmas, giving The Body Shop a great unique selling point.

John Lewis

Inside John Lewis we spotted a Scandinavian design, which was carried through consistently from POS into packaging. Although this was a minimal design, it still felt classy and fitting for John Lewis. The Christmas decorations were all merchandised into trending categories including ‘Folklore’, ‘Lima Llama’, ‘Into the Woods’, and ‘Highland Myths’. It was easy to navigate around this area and we spotted giant gift tags on each of the decorated trees driving shoppers to social media for more inspiration. We also came across a ‘Moz the Monster’ area, which featured toys, mugs and slippers all linking back to the TV advert. This was the only area we spotted Moz though, we were hoping he would have featured more throughout the store as ‘Monty the Penguin’ did in previous years.

Wilko

We admired how Wilko’s had a consistent look and feel all the way from the window posters outside, through to in-store POS and packaging. A traditional red was blended with soft, hand-drawn illustrations. There was a lot of die-cut POS hung from the ceiling with cute Christmas characters and trees, all in the same hand-drawn illustration style. This created theatre and set a nice eye-catching Christmas scene in the gifting area. Wilko’s used a nice script font on POS and packaging, making it seem friendly and luxurious, as well as retaining it’s traditional look and feel.

Trend Spotting

Some trends that we kept spotting included personalisation, charity donations and social media campaigns.

Personalisation was done well by The Body Shop, M&S and Lindt. M&S had an area set up where you could personalise t-shirts, Christmas sacks and baubles. All done through an easy on-screen process, you could choose your personalisation options, wait a few minutes then receive your item! Lindt were also offering free personalisation when you buy two chocolate Teddys, then for every Teddy purchased Lindt would donate to the NSPCC.

We noticed a lot of retailers doing hashtag campaigns including M&S’s #LoveTheBear, River Island’s #RiGiveACatAHome and The Body Shop’s #PlayforPeace. A lot of these were also tied into donating money to charity, encouraging shoppers to buy from them for a good cause.

We even noticed a bit of retailtainment while we were out and about. Including a cut-out standee from Claire’s Accessories and a pop-up photo booth with props in Debenhams. Keeping us all entertained during the festive period!

Overall, we spotted some lovely designs and key trends. Retailers are trying harder to stand out from the crowd and are coming up with original ideas to inspire shoppers.

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