Commercial properties that love Christmas

Christmas is nearly here - and none love it more than these commercial properties

‘Over-commercialised and tacky...’ many will moan as the first mince pie arrives on the supermarket shelf in late summer and the gradual onslaught of TV ads and glitter reaches a crescendo by December.

Yet, the bubble of excitement is still there – as is the unintentional welling up at heart-wrenching Christmas adverts.

For many commercial property owners and retailers, it is also as much the most anticipated time of the year as the most dreaded. What was once a simple draping of tinsel, is now a fierce competition to attract shoppers in the run up to Christmas.

Some commercial properties are virtually unbeatable when it comes to extravagant displays at Christmas. We take a look at some commercial properties who love Christmas and do it in style.

Fortnum and Mason

A video posted by Fortnum & Mason (@fortnums) on

Situated in Piccadilly, Fortnum and Mason is right in the heart of the West End where dazzling lights and neon billboards are common all year round. But Fortnum's has kept an integral style and class for centuries which comes into it's own at Christmas.

The company was founded in 1707 by royal footman William Fortnum and his landlord Hugh Mason. Not only is it well known for its premiuim quality products, but also as the ‘Queen’s Grocer’ and has held many Royal Warrants over the past 150 years.

At its entrance, your main greeting comes in the form of a four-ton clock which chimes every hour, causing four-foot-high models of the founders to emerge. On either side of the front door, lanterns hang with a glow as a reminder of its eighteenth century roots.

A spiral staircase acts as the centre piece to the store and, from a bird’s eye view, appears like the inside of a coiled shell with marbled white leading up to the first floor of crimson red.

The traditional, luxurious detailing of Fortnum and Mason makes it feel designed for Christmas without needing to hang a single bauble.

In December, however, the silver railings on the staircase curl around dark green pine trees spun with yellow fairy lights and multi-coloured decorations.

Their most famous product at Fortnum and Mason at Christmas are their hampers, which can range up to £5,000 in price. Delicacies inside can include a whole shoulder of pure-bred Maldonado ham, Beluga caviar, smoked salmon, Veuve Cliquot Champagne and rare tea.

For the first store in Britain to stock Heinz Baked Beans, Fortnum and Mason celebrates the season with classic sophistication.

Liberty

The Liberty store is simply iconic. It represents a quintessential essence of Britishness -  a mix of independence, eccentricity and traditionalism

Initially founded in 1875, the building was actually built in the 1920s at the height of the Tudor revival period. Constructed from the timbers of two ships with recognisable black leaded windows, the grade 2 listed building is unique from any other commercial property in London.

Selling haberdashery, luxury goods, global antiques and treasures alongside high fashion the store is perfectly grotto-esque and is a mecca for many at Christmas.

The octagonal-shaped hole in the centre allows people to look down from the Tudor balconies to the polished wood floor below. In this year's Christmas section, lights drape from beams just above a few 'snow-capped' wooden lodges housing a variety of seasonal goodies. 

Christmas trees line  the banisters, and are home to some rather quirky cat baubles.

Known for being the centre of retail innovation, it’s not entirely surprising that their Christmas displays have an design edge – and the Liberty Chistmas window display is one of the most anticipated events in the retail calendar.

The Plaza Hotel

Probably known most famously  as the hotel Kevin checked into in Home Alone 2, The Plaza Hotel is located in Manhattan and is a 20-storey edifice of pure luxury. 

The building was built and designed in 1907, with a French Renaissance chateau-style in mind. Complete with a champagne bar, terrace room, Edwardian room, Grand Ball room and more, The Plaza Hotel is the height of opulence.

The hotel, having been the main location for the 1992 Christmas hit and also the much loved 'Eloise' childrens' books, has continued to grow in status to a place of magic and escapism.

The Plaza Hotel loves Christmas and is strictly traditional in its celebration of the season; a huge Christmas tree is framed by art deco-style open glass doors, and red and white decorations are nestled alongside pine cones and golden baubles.

The Rockefeller Center

There surely can’t be a bigger Christmas tree than The Rockefeller’s.

With the help of a crane, it stands high before The Rockefeller Center. The lighting of the tree often attracts tens of thousands of people watching from the sidewalks and is even a televised event.

Live performances from a host of celebrities often accompany the turning on of the lights, which will remain lit until around 8th January.

The Rockefeller Center building itself is a complex comprised of 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st streets. In 1987, it was established as a National Historic Landmark.

During the whole winter holiday, a variety of evens will run, for example, its famous ice rink, ballet performances, choirs, carollers, and more.



Rose Hill

About the author

Rose Hill is an in-house journalist and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.