Category: Companies / December 7, 2012 4:13 PM EST
The arrival of the holiday season translates into show time for many New York City department retailers.
Transforming store fronts into elaborate seasonal displays has long been a tradition in Manhattan, with each store attempting to outdo the next.
"I think it's friendly competition but certainly fierce for sure," said Harry Cunningham, the Senior Vice President for store design, planning and visual merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue.
The company's flagship store unveiled its windows and lightshow during a ceremony which included hot chocolate and cookies for guests. Cunningham said this year's display is called "Snowflake Spectacular."
"It's about six kids, actually seven kids and six different ways that they make it snow. Starting with snow globes, we have a life-sized snow globe, we have life-sized kaleidoscopes, we have some exciting technology that actually allows the people that are outside seeing the windows to become snowflakes in one of the windows. We have some shadow puppets. So lots of great, kind of fun different ways from sort of old world to new modern technology ways to make it snow," he explained.
Bloomingdale's joined forces with Cirque du Soleil for their spectacle. Scenes from the circus' upcoming 3D film were reconstructed to create a fantasy-like exhibit.
Luxury retailer Barneys New York not only created holiday spirit but also controversy with their Skinny Minnie Mouse makeover. The stores high-tech show features a super slim mouse character as part of a short film. Critics said the stick-like Minnie would teach young girls to have a poor body image.
Spectators outside the holiday windows at Lord and Taylor were ushered through ropes as they took in the sights. Santa can be seen taking a day off in their 75th window display.
At the world's largest department store, Macy's, two different themes to fill their window spaces which stretch across an entire city block.