Christmas Retail Displays: 42 Creative Ideas & Examples
This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
For retailers looking forward to the holiday season for a much-needed revenue boost, joyful and eye-catching Christmas displays will convince more shoppers to buy from their stores.
We’ve pulled together more than 40 creative Christmas display ideas to dress up both your brick-and-mortar and online stores. We also share quick and easy tips to help you build the perfect display this holiday season. May your holidays be filled with peace and joy—and may the register bell ring brightly!
Christmas Window Display Ideas
According to a historical stat from Vistaprint, small businesses spend an average of $347 for their retail Christmas window displays. Plus, the seasonal decorations market has grown 2.5% annually since 2016. While some businesses might have bigger budgets, it is simply the ability to connect with passing shoppers that will ultimately determine your holiday sales success.
1. Digital Christmas
This digital display from Ted Baker’s London store seems like a simple strategy compared to other creative Christmas window displays out there. Adorned with Christmas garlands and lights, it completes the perfect festive look that lets you showcase ads to attract shoppers passing by.
Quick Tip: Consider using digital displays. They’re not only visually attractive but easy to repurpose for any occasion. Furthermore, the influx of shoppers during the holiday rush can be overwhelming, even with the best point-of-sale (POS) system in your store. Digital in-store displays help reduce shopping fatigue and stress brought about by waiting in long lines at the cash register.
2. Chalk Art
A small stationery store in Brussels opted for a simple Christmas display using chalk paint to add a wreath design to a see-through shop window. The handwritten text and warm lights inside the store complete the message, inviting shoppers to come inside. You can also use chalk to create a holiday-themed design for a sandwich board or on the sidewalk outside your storefront if the space is available.
Quick Tip: Consider your location. Knowing what the customer needs is key to making a sale, or in this case, convincing them to come into your store. The owner understands that shoppers would be cold and tired, so using a Christmas window display to draw a crowd with the promise of comfort and warmth is both simple and effective.
3. Frosted Windows
Another simple yet creative take on a winter scene is with frosted, see-through windows. The designer used the store view as a backdrop to come up with the right colors and accents for an attractive Christmas display.
Pufferbellies in Staunton, Vermont, hired a visual merchandiser to help create its Christmas window displays. It went with a full-on holiday theme, complete with handmade reindeer, buildings, and accents.
Quick Tip: Use the store window as your backdrop. Some displays can look deceptively hard or expensive to make, but the natural look of your store from the window can be the base of an elegant design. This featured display can be recreated using felted wool for snowball garlands, cardboard cones, and frosted glass spray paint you can find in any DIY store.
4. Marshmallow Garlands
Here’s another interesting retail Christmas window display idea. Marshmallow garlands are used to create a three-dimensional white background for this store’s front window. The designer then added warm, accent string lights to create a snowing effect.
Quick Tip: Use simple materials. A 3D backdrop is more eye-catching compared to a plain canvas, so be creative. Consider easily accessible items such as egg trays, broken CD pieces, or paper lanterns as alternatives. It will look great on its own or make other colorful elements such as letter cutouts and products, pop out even more.
5. Garland Borders
This Watches of Switzerland store in London takes a minimal approach to its Christmas displays. It puts garland outside and around its windows, bordering whatever window displays are inside. This retail Christmas display idea is accessible to all budgets.
Quick Tip: Leftover garland? Place it elsewhere—add it to in-store signage and displays, add a border to the checkout area, or use it to line countertops. There are plenty of ways to get creative and festive with garland in your store.
The Selby Rocks Christmas window displays line London’s Regent Street every year. Foot traffic slowly passes by as holiday shoppers admire the displays and even stick around for a show.
Nearby, Tiffany Co. creates holiday robots in its famous turquoise blue, creating its own mini-show.
Quick Tip: You don’t need to be as elaborate as Selby. You just need one window and one character to make a holiday scene to lure shoppers to your store.
7. Window & Building Covers
Jelmoli, a department store in Zurich, created holiday-themed banners to cover the majority of its windows and sides of the building.
Quick Tip: You don’t have to cover the entirety of your windows and building. You can also create smaller banners and decorations to make this Christmas display idea more feasible.
8. Winter Scene
You may not sell holiday-themed products, but you can place your products into holiday-themed scenarios. This holiday window display from Anthropologie showcases just two mannequins in the brand’s clothing—the rest of the space is taken up by a festive holiday backdrop.
Quick Tip: Your products don’t have to be seasonal to fit into a holiday window display. You can also choose a winter theme, much like Anthropologie, to give the display a longer shelf life.
9. Disco Balls as Oversized Ornaments
Disco balls look similar to holiday ornaments, and you can use them as such in your window displays. You don’t even need a tree—or to hang them. The example above shows the disco balls creatively scattered around the floor to give a holiday vibe.
Quick Tip: Check your warehouse, closets, and storage areas for all kinds of things that can be used as holiday ornaments. You don’t need to limit yourself to disco balls.
10. Window Decals
Holiday-themed window decals are cost-effective and easy to install and take down once the holidays have passed.
Quick Tip: With so many options for decals out there, you can even customize your own to mix holidays and your branding.
In-store Christmas Display Ideas
Getting customers through the door is just half the battle. A consumer study found that people who look for new, unique gifts prefer to shop in person. And, in-store shopping is making a strong comeback. Holiday retail sales in 2021 increased more than 14% compared to the year prior, surpassing the National Retail Federation’s projections. Business owners will have to put more effort into their in-store Christmas displays to make a sale.
This brand designed its store around a theme and blended its featured items into the scene. The effects allowed the owners to display their inventory in mood lighting and background that best compliment the look and design of their products.
Quick Tip: Work on a theme for your window and in-store display. This holiday shopping season, people are eager for a safe and exciting space that invites moments of surprise. While doing so, keep in mind that your product should remain the hero, so your overall design is in keeping with an effective point-of-purchase marketing strategy.
12. Wall Christmas Tree
This Christmas tree idea did not come from a retail store but is still share-worthy and perfect for smaller retail shops. It’s a space-saving design where you can set up a Christmas tree on a blank wall if your store is not big enough for centerpiece decor. This is also a budget-friendly alternative to digital displays if you’d rather invest in upgrading your cash register to a POS system in time for the holiday shopping rush.
Quick Tip: Remember that less is more. Use color themes close to your wall color, especially if you plan to decorate a blank wall. Also, consider using your white space to draw attention to an important message and express it with your wall Christmas tree. Don’t fill every ounce of space, as open spaces help you draw more attention if you want to feature a product or two.
13. Gift Boxes
Media Ace created 1,000 tartan boxes for Ralph Lauren’s in-store Christmas displays. The gift boxes were made in colors that reflected the brand’s theme and were used to give extra dimension and height to the featured product displays.
Quick Tip: Upgrade your POS display. The objective of getting customers into the store is to convince them to buy your products, so point-of-sale displays are a critical factor in their decision-making. Use colors and elements that give depth and height to create an attractive display.
14. Floor Decals
Dashing Group included floor decals in its Christmas display design for David Jones Australia. This strategy effectively completed the istore’s POS display look, giving customers a more rounded visual experience. The font choice and design kept the style of the store’s brand both professional and elegant.
Quick Tip: Do a walk-through. It doesn’t hurt to do a walk-through starting from the entrance, around the aisles, to the checkout counter once you’re done putting up your in-store Christmas displays. Let employees do the same and ask how they felt about the lighting, colors, and other elements as they move around the store. This helps you determine if you need to add more decorations, even them out, or dial back a notch or two.
15. Holiday Trees
Anthropologie is known for its artistic and on-brand holiday displays, and this example is no different. Retail designer Emily Barton created fake trees with oversized holiday pinecones to highlight areas where mannequins display the brand’s apparel.
Quick Tip: This approach is great for customers from all backgrounds and religions. Rather than a Christmas tree, this tree isn’t tied to a specific holiday or event. Instead, it’s a festive representation of the season—a great way to make sure your customers don’t feel left out.
16. Hanging Products From Stringed Lights or a Tree
If they’re small enough, you can turn products into ornaments and decorations themselves. Instead of a string of lights, hang a string of lipsticks. Or, use baseballs and tennis balls as ornaments on your Christmas tree. You can also put products in clear balls and hang those as ornaments throughout your shop.
Quick Tip: If you purchase clear balls to display products, think of ways to repurpose them for other display uses. You can add pink tissue paper for Valentine’s Day and green confetti for St. Patrick’s Day, for example.
17. Tree of Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to generate revenue and spread the word about your brand, especially during the holidays. Nearly half of American consumers have at least one unused gift card. And, while the goal is to get a new customer in the door to make their first purchase which will hopefully lead to many more, even if they never visit your shop, you still earn that revenue. Arrange a nice holiday display of gift cards in the shape of a tree, star, or other holiday-themed figure. You can even hang them as ornaments or from stringed lights.
Quick Tip: When offering gift cards for your retail store, remember to check on your local laws and regulations. The federal government and some states have rules around how businesses treat gift cards and redemption. In many cases, for example, it’s prohibited to add an expiration date.
Summertown Interiors used 314 plastic bottles to construct its Christmas tree. These were recycled from its September Water Drinking Wellness initiative to “Drink 2L of water a day” to spread awareness about the benefits of drinking enough water.
Quick Tip: Promote a cause that customers will want to support. Understanding the priorities of your community will help you deliver a retail design experience that connects better with the emotional needs of your target customers.
Outside Christmas Display Ideas
If you’re in an area with a lot of foot traffic, or on “High Street” as we say in the retail industry, there are ways to spruce up the area outside your space. This attracts more foot traffic outside of your store, which hopefully leads to more foot traffic in your store.
19. Ornaments & Balls
London’s Regent Street is a popular destination for holiday travelers. As such, you’ll find lots of holiday decorations as you walk down the street. This example shows holiday “balls” that have been strung above the street. At night, the balls light up.
Quick Tip: You can also hang holiday balls in your store and around your storefront. Consider hanging some from any trees or light poles around your store.
Holiday lights are always a foolproof way to add a festive flair to any space—and outside your store is no different. This example from Amsterdam shows holiday lights creating somewhat of an archway for passersby to walk under. You can also string lights across the street if you’re DIYing this Christmas holiday display idea.
Quick Tip: If you’re afraid of high utility bills or increasing your carbon footprint, opt for solar-powered lights. These work especially well in places that receive a lot of sunshine during the day.
Online Store Christmas Display Ideas
This year’s holiday shopping might just be the biggest ecommerce event in history. About 86% of consumers plan to holiday shop as much or more than they did pre-pandemic. Business owners will have to step up their game and make sure that even the Christmas display for their online store is on point.
21. Sneak Peek
Pottery Barn uses its landing page to showcase a teaser of its Christmas collection, complete with an intriguing header and a good-looking photo featuring its products. The image also takes its visitors directly to the section of its website where they can browse Christmas inventory and get more information on sales and promotions.
Quick Tip: Create a large ad for your collection. For online shops that carry a wide variety of inventory, create a segment for your holiday collection and advertise it on your landing page. Make sure that your ad includes a great title and an engaging CTA and that it can redirect your visitors to your Christmas catalog page.
22. 2D Animated Display
Macy’s has long been promoting a cause to make kids’ wishes come true on Christmas. It included this campaign in its online store with a 2D Christmas display reminiscent of old-school, paper cutout, classic Christmas designs that connect immediately to one’s childhood. The image is also animated, which only boosts the website’s nostalgic appeal.
Quick Tip: Use images that appeal to your website visitor’s emotions. With all the forced isolation for the sake of health and safety, people are always looking to connect. Images that evoke the right emotion will help motivate shoppers to purchase from your store. Use your business brand to decide the best strategy to connect emotionally with your target customers.
23. Popular Christmas Campaign Slogan
Amazon called its 2018 Christmas sales series “12 Days of Deals,” which is very easy to associate with a popular Christmas carol and remember. Combined with an eye-catching banner, this Christmas display makes it easy for website visitors to recall and eventually revisit the shop long after they’ve left the website.
Quick Tip: Use familiar Christmas carols on your campaign slogan. Many brands connect their sales series to a familiar Christmas carol because it’s easy to remember. Recall is an important factor to consider because you want to make it easy for shoppers to remember your online store even after they’ve visited other websites.
24. Creative Product Feature
Flowers are not exactly at the top of anyone’s list on Christmas, which is why florists make an extra effort to stay relevant during this holiday season. Designer Blooms’ website took this opportunity to showcase its flowers as ornaments on an elegant Christmas tree. This creative use of product is what made us include the website in our list.
Quick Tip: Explore creative ways to make your product stand out. Use your website landing page to showcase products that may not be the most sought-after items during the holiday season. Shoppers are always looking for unique gift ideas, so take this opportunity to showcase out-of-the-box ideas.
25. Christmas Catalog
Neiman Marcus offers an annual catalog for the holiday season: The Christmas Book. Shoppers look forward to this to get the best discounts and prices for quality products, which is why the brand’s website features this on its landing page. Shoppers who eagerly anticipate its release would regularly visit the website and ultimately purchase from there.
Quick Tip: Feature an annual holiday collection. If you are a small retail business owner, consider starting a holiday catalog that you can feature on your online store. Start small, with a few well-chosen products. Display a well-designed ad on your landing page to announce the start of the holiday season.
Learn more about creating a retail gift guide for the holiday season.
26. Virtual Reality
John Lewis added a 3D virtual tour on its online shop’s landing page. This virtual tour allows shoppers to control, navigate, and have a look at the products displayed in John Lewis’ physical store. Each product available for sale is also interactive, with clickable buttons that display product information.
Quick Tip: Feature an interactive display on your landing page. While there are many tech options available for one’s online store, most of these are included on the product page, where it’s more useful. For Christmas displays to be effective, however, they need to be immediately visible. Consider featuring one product on your landing page so that your potential customers can have a quick demo of the user experience they can expect from your online store.
27. Classic Christmas Landing Page
This coffee shop’s website makes use of a landing page. The scene is a Christmas-themed video background displaying promotions for the holiday season. It also uses sticky headers and a CTA that links to its online store.
Quick Tip: Think of landing pages as your storefront window. Whatever visitors see on your landing page will set the mood and help them decide whether to stay or move to a different website. So, make sure that your images are crisp and that your CTAs are descriptive, clear, and cohesive with the rest of the message on your page.
28. Christmas Banner
Loog sells guitars and offers guitar lessons for kids. Aside from regularly updating its photo slides, the website also uses banner headers to advertise events and updates, including holiday sales. For this instance, Loog announces free shipping, the most common concern for those trying to purchase online.
Quick Tip: Use banners to highlight key offers. The use of colors, icons, and fonts ensures visitors will see this announcement as soon as they land on the website. But more than the design, the message is crucial. Include a message that will appeal to visitors and answer concerns that stop them from completing a purchase.
29. Iconic Christmas Display
There are businesses like Coca-Cola that don’t require too much fanfare on its website to announce the holidays. For instance, displaying the iconic Coca-Cola truck is enough to tell visitors that the brand has started its holiday campaign and to expect surprises moving forward.
Quick Tip: Use classic Christmas symbols to announce the holiday season for your store. Sometimes, a picture really is worth more than a thousand words. And when done right, you get a website look that’s clean, classy, and inviting, without the flashing lights and marquee headlines, while still sending a clear message to your visitors.
Social Media-based Store Christmas Display Ideas
For a successful holiday season, selling on social media is a must. In fact, 70% of Instagram users use the platform to research their next purchase. Business owners should, therefore, ramp up their Christmas displays on social media to attract more customers.
30. Christmas Countdown
This Instagram account used a countdown sticker as a Christmas display. For business accounts that do social selling on Instagram, this feature can also function as a means to announce a sale. Backgrounds can be used to feature your products that go on sale.
Quick Tip: Explore Christmas-themed stickers. Instagram also has other holiday-themed stickers, such as its Instagram Advent Calendar. Use this to promote a sale or event and encourage followers to share your stories. This ensures that your followers get reminders about your event and keep your business top of mind.
31. Christmas Feature Pin
Target showcased its limited-edition holiday glamping kit and created a sense of urgency among its Instagram followers. The products were set up to inspire visitors and appeal to their fear of missing out on a great buy. While not all of Target’s followers ended up buying, most of them found this pin-worthy of sharing within their network.
Quick Tip: Feature limited-edition holiday kits. As a predominantly visual platform, Pinterest is the perfect space to showcase your featured products. Match it with a well-written description to captivate your audience and convince them to spend some of their holiday budget in your online store.
32. Christmas Thumbnail
During the holiday season, Starbucks’ Facebook page curates Christmas-themed posts, updates the cover page, adds small “Christmas details” on the profile photo, and organizes the displayed thumbnail photos. This ensures a consistent overall look of its Facebook page for page visitors.
Quick Tip: Be consistent with the little details as they count in setting the right tone for your Facebook followers. Organize your thumbnail photos, especially if you’re promoting a series of Christmas sales. Use the pin post feature for major event announcements, and use the cover page to share discount coupons or even countdowns to your major events.
33. Christmas Story Highlights
Frank Body added a holiday section on its Instagram story highlights where all its stories are organized in a theme. This makes it easy for its followers to keep an eye out for products that the store has offered on discount or special limited bundles just for the holidays. As with its other posts, its holiday stories include information on its products plus CTAs for those who are ready to buy.
Quick Tip: Use story highlights for your Christmas photo collection. Story highlights are very useful for seasonal or on-trend promotions like Christmas holidays. This will make sure that your followers don’t miss out on any products that go on sale. Be creative and use different strategies such as advent calendar series, countdowns, and contests for your followers.
Mobile Store Christmas Display Ideas
According to eMarketer, mobile ecommerce sales for 2021 hit nearly $360 billion in the US. Sellers in marketplaces like Amazon should, therefore, make the most out of the app’s Christmas display features to maximize revenue share for the holidays. Here are some helpful tools to help you get started.
34. WordPress Theme
This free Christmas store theme is for sellers who use a WordPress website and also want a professional-looking mobile store. It’s fully integrated with WooCommerce plugin and comes with a mobile-ready layout, so your website will work like a store app on a mobile device.
Quick Tip: Click the above link and scan the QR code from your mobile device to try this Christmas theme and see how it will look and feel for your mobile customers.
35. Christmas Themed Popup
Add a Christmas-themed popup to your mobile store to promote your events and special store discounts. You can also add a CTA button to motivate potential customers to make a purchase.
Quick Tip: Hire a freelance designer, or purchase premade popup apps from developers that support popular marketplaces such as Shopify and Amazon—like SMSBump.
36. Christmas Holiday Effects
For Shopify users, you can spruce up your store for the holidays with some quick holiday effects from Shopify’s app store. This includes thematic header/footer imagery, animated elements, cursor icons, and your own images.
Quick Tip: Use of this app is subscription-based and available on Shopify’s app store for $4.99 per month.
Flexible Christmas Display Ideas
Some ideas lend themselves to a few use cases, or you might follow a theme throughout your store.
37. Photo Booth
Make your space shareable and “Instagram-worthy” with a holiday-themed photo booth or backdrop. This not only gives shoppers something fun and different to do while in store, but it also gives them a reason to share your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful tool! Consider providing holiday-themed props and include your branded hashtag.
Macy’s is known for its extravagant flower displays for the holidays. You’ll find amazing flower creations in windows, in stores, and in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You don’t need to build a whole float to jump on this Christmas display idea—you can use small touches throughout.
Quick Tip: Use fake flowers if you want the display to last throughout the season. Wilting flowers won’t hold up, and live flowers require more maintenance like watering and other upkeep. You and your team have enough on your plate during the busy holiday season—you don’t need to add watering plants to your to-do list.
39. Creative Trees
The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas built a Christmas tree illuminated with Swarovski crystals and LED lights, garnering attention from shoppers and press alike. It also gives people a reason to visit in person.
Quick Tip: You don’t need crystals and fancy lights to build your holiday tree. Consider stacking branded product boxes or handing your products from a tree as ornaments, for example.
40. Give Back
You can install a holiday tree for gift-giving in your store and encourage shoppers to get in on the action. Offer gifts for children and people in your community who are in need, and invite your customers to contribute gifts. You can wrap the presents in branded paper and put them under the tree for an on-brand and community-driven holiday display that gets everyone involved.
Quick Tip: Don’t put the onus fully on your customers. Offer to provide a gift of your own for every gift a customer brings by. This will also improve your standing and image in the local community.
41. Highlight Deals
Holiday shoppers are seeking the perfect gift, but they’re also budget-conscious. Price is a top consideration for 92% of consumers during the holidays. Because it’s a season of spending, consumers are extra mindful of how much things cost—in fact, nearly three-quarters of shoppers are more aware of spending in 2022 than they were last year.
As such, nearly half (45%) of shoppers get an early start for the holidays in search of deals and discounts. You can use your displays to highlight these limited-time holiday specials and sales to appeal to these shoppers.
Quick Tip: Slow-moving or excess stock? Consider repackaging and promoting for early holiday sales. It’s a great way to move aging inventory to make room for new, exciting holiday products.
42. Holiday Music
Music evokes emotions and can impact our behavior—and that includes shopping behaviors when you hear music in a store. And though you won’t be tapping into the psychology of sales through holiday music, it can lure foot traffic into your shop and even encourage folks to linger longer as they enjoy getting in the holiday spirit. In fact, most people actually enjoy hearing music in stores.
Quick Tip: Consider putting a speaker at or just outside your storefront. This way, the loud music can pique the curiosity of passersby while simply being background noise for your in-store shoppers. You certainly don’t want to distract from the shopping experience altogether.
The 2022 Christmas holiday season is around the corner, and shoppers are getting ready to cross items off their Christmas list. So whatever the size of your store, brick-and-mortar or online, just starting or well-established, try out some of our Christmas display ideas to welcome customers with a great big holiday cheer!