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amplify footfall, increase spend and dwell time

The Centre:MK’s vibrant Christmas celebrations have positioned it as a primary location for a festive experience for families and visitors across the region. The Centre’s previous light display had attracted audiences but the outgoing cost wasn’t matched by the seasonal uplift in consumer purchases. Wanting to drive footfall and increase spend and dwell time whilst building unforgettable guest memories, The Centre:MK drew upon Xcite’s experienced team to carve an audacious new Christmas vision.

"The Xcite team needed a strategic approach to defy consumers' grotto expectations. "

The Brief

The popularity of The Centre:MK’s previous light displays needed redirection. The fresh concept needed to draw shoppers into the mall and emotionally engage families with the centre. Shopping sites across the country are synonymous with Santa experiences.

However, numerous examples get it wrong. The adverse effect of a poorly produced grotto lingers long in the memory. Tired looking sets and lacklustre theming diminishes festive spirit leaving malls with tarnished customer relations.

The Xcite team needed a strategic approach to defy consumers' grotto expectations. Their creation needed to be visually outstanding and seamlessly produced with the ability to generate hype, footfall, and to multiply spend and revenue.

Our Solution

Xcite knew their solution needed to firmly put The Centre:MK’s festive offering on their Christmas agenda. After meticulous research, the team conceived a boundary-defying grotto. Visualising an authentic experience of Lapland, Santa’s traditional hut was replaced with a glowing iced igloo as snow machines aided the Antarctic scene. Snow flocked trees flanked the space leading little ones along a magical path to meet Father Christmas himself.

Xcite fuelled every part of the journey with the excitement of the season in a series of thrilling boredom busters. Building a whole snowy train-track around Santa’s igloo, visitors enjoyed train rides manned by elves and delighted in trips upon a mesmerising vintage carousel. Trail cards alerted children to all the exciting scenes surrounding them whilst elves treated them to a series of Christmas tasks.

Young minds were kept occupied with handmade wrapping paper workshops and ‘Reindoor Food’ recipe making. As families neared their special Santa encounter, a large cuckoo clock chimed as the doors widened and they advanced into the next part of their expedition. Here, Xcite’s careful conception of the space diverted parties into three separate Santa chambers to decrease the line wait time. After viewing Christmas films, children finally enjoyed a memory-making Santa meeting. Gifted with an age-appropriate book, families waved goodbye to Father Christmas before browsing a series of pop-up Christmas shops.

The result? Xcite inspired everlasting festive memories cementing the popularity of The Centre:Mk. Guests who had travelled from Sweden remarked how Xcite’s set had an identical resemblance to that of their snowy homelands. The authenticity of the set and originality of the grotto chimed with diverse visitors attracting more than 20,000 visitors every year for three years and amassing The Centre:MK a substantial increase in spend and revenue.

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