Despite the wet weather, the crowds were out in force to support their city centre last weekend as the Christmas festivities officially kicked off with the illumination of the lighting programme and launch of this year’s Elf Trail. The shops were also looking fabulously festive ready for our Christmas Window Competition, which was judged by Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville.
One of the most important window displays of the year, nearly 30 retailers entered the competition to showcase their Christmas creativity. Categories included in the competition were Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Judge’s Choice for both Medium/Large Retailers and Independents.
Leading the way for the Gold award in the Medium/Large Retailer category was Cancer Research UK with a Victorian inspired display. There were not one but two gold-winning Independent Retailers, with Katie Loxton and the newly opened Cherry Vintage showcasing standout windows. In total there were 12 Silver Gilt winners, 11 of which were independents and one a chain retailer. Some wonderful creativity was seen in all the winners of the Silver Gilt category, including Hennings Wine and Lucy With Diamonds for the Independents, and L’Occitane in the Medium/Large Retailer category.
We also organised a special Judge’s Choice Award, selected by Hugh Bonneville as his overall favourite festive window display. Hugh was impressed by the combined festive efforts of the independent retailers in Draper’s Yard, giving them the top award for their take on the 12 Days of Christmas. Special mention should also go to Between the Lines who received a Highly Commended for their sparkling display.
Hugh commented: “Thanks and congratulations to all the retailers who took part in the window display competition, making the streets of Chichester buzz with festive cheer. So many shops made an effort and it was wonderful to see such a great variety of imaginative ideas brought to life. What a glorious start to the Christmas season.”
Jeanette Hockley, Chichester BID Members Service Manager, commented: “Thank you so much to Hugh for taking the time to support the huge effort and imagination channeled into the window displays by retailers in Chichester. We hope shoppers and visitors to the city take the time to appreciate and enjoy all the displays as well as the many festivities that will be happening over the next few weeks.”
There’s still time to have your say in the People’s Choice Award. Simply take a photo of the participating shop you feel has the best festive display by 13 December and post to social media using #ChiBidXmas. The shop with the most public votes will be declared the winner.
Full list of results:
Winner – Draper’s Yard
Highly Commended – Between The Lines
Cancer Research UK
Hennings Wine Merchants
Q Hair and Beauty
Winter Moon and Gnarly Tree
Cloisters Gift Shop
Timothy Roe Fine Jewellery
Lucy With Diamond
Cussans Nail and Beauty
L’Occitane en Provence
Chestnut Tree House
The City Grocer
The Body Suite
Parker & Gibbs Interiors
Buzby and Blue Hairdressing & Beauty Spa
Kids Stuff Toys