Christmas at Brigg Garden Centres is a magical time and our displays delight thousands of customers.
From the Christmas displays that open in September to the Santa’s Grotto experience that opens in October, every last detail is meticulously planned, constructed and decorated to the highest standard.
Have you ever wondered how we do it?
We work really hard every year to improve on the previous year’s offerings and it all starts in January. Before Christmas has even wrapped up for another year our buyers are booking flights and hotel rooms in preparation for the next years trade shows and exhibitions. Part of this process takes our Christmas team to the Netherlands. Here they seek out the latest seasonal trends and pick up some valuable inspiration from which to generate ideas and themes for the displays back home. Carefully selected products are then ordered for delivery in September. The team return to the business inspired and full of Christmas spirit, eager to start planning our next festive offering.
The planning process begins with identifying themes that the chosen products will fit into. Old favourites like ‘traditional’ and ‘Christmas dining’ get a refreshing new look and new themes and concepts are introduced to compliment the displays. From here the stronger concepts are developed and can be turned into beautiful focal points. A floor plan is designed with the individual themes laid out to make the most of the retail space and create a magical wonderland for our customers to enjoy.
The creative team then design and manufacture anything from log cabins to magical forests, all adorned with stunning decorations. These areas showcase the huge range of Christmas decorations, trees and lights in an imaginative and creative way. The team then set out the retail area to coincide with theme making all the products readily available to the customer.
Building the displays starts in September, meanwhile behind the scenes the marketing team is already working on branding, advertising and promotional material for Christmas. Some advertising starts as early as July enabling us to capture coach parties looking to book for Christmas dinner.
The marketing team are given a brief based on the experiences of the buying team earlier in the year. From this brief a Christmas brand is created for the group and becomes the lead message for every centre. This year was ‘Bringing Christmas Home’, to give a feeling of wholesome, traditional ‘homely’ values and illustrate a warm welcoming message through all media. The themes are then developed into graphic and typographic styles, once the displays are assembled these graphics are added to finish off compliment the themes. This process uses approximately 1500 feet of paper to cover the vast retail spaces with headers, shelf edges, posters and artwork.
Opening nights throughout the group are staggered with the first centre going live in mid September. Friends and family are invited to the launch night and are warmly received with mince pies and mulled wine and 20% Off their shopping, from the minute the ribbon is cut Christmas is truly underway and our busiest retailing part of the year begins.
But wait, there’s more
Santa’s Grottos have become a part of garden centres Christmas offerings and it’s a tradition we embrace. Each year the Grotto experience grows in both its size and popularity. Many of the Grottos are now designed and custom built to deal with demand as thousands of children and their parents turn out to see Santa.
Building begins with the clearing of a huge space in the centres plant areas. Joiners then have a week to build these fabulous Grottos before the creative team dress it ready for the man in the red suit. During this time a recruitment drive is on to find our elves who are essential to the running of the Grotto and of course the search for Santa begins.
Over the years the experience has evolved and the Brigg centre now includes a chat with Santa, festive train ride, bouncy castles, a toy shop and a photo booth. The Grotto can also cater for both walk ins and online bookings. A 2FOR1 offer helps launch the Grotto and the online booking system goes live to coincide with promotional activity.
Looking for something extra special?
He already excellent Grotto experiences are enhanced further by the addition of Breakfast or Tea with Santa. Booked though the restaurants with dates from November this exciting and more personal experience has Santa joining children for a Christmas meal in the restaurant. Entertainment starts from the minute you walk into the restaurant, with Christmas stories games and singing. Santa then leads the party into the Grotto where you can enjoy whole experience with the elves.
Christmas is a huge time for us here and we enjoy creating an experience that we hope you love as much as we do. Visit www.britishgardencentres.com