There’s a running joke that South African shopping centers seem to put up there Christmas decorations earlier and earlier every year.
That may not be too far from the truth, as Christmas mall decorations are a massive industry in South Africa, reports Quartz.
Despite being representative of South Africa’s Christian populace, the appeal draws in crowds of all age groups and backgrounds.
The décor “acts as a huge draw card,” says Vanessa Fourie, brand manager at Mall of Africa. “Be it on your head if you actually don’t [decorate].”
Even though malls might be catering for more diverse communities, religions and races, “the cross purpose is that there is an expectation for beautiful, traditional stuff,” says Fourie.
“Certainly the belief is that it does add to the shopping experience, which obviously then results in our tills.”
Just how much work goes into these installations?
The Magic Christmas Co. (TMCC) has been decorating malls and shopping centers in South Africa for 30 years, starts working in February with some of the biggest malls in South Africa on their design plans.
Likewise, competitors CPS Promotions has had such success with their business decorating malls that its owners, Veta and Bevin Masters, have opened their own small factory so they can manufacture pieces instead of importing them.
They employ nearly 30 permanent staff and the number jumps to about 100 as Christmas planning ramps up around June.
So when you’re doing your Christmas shopping these coming weeks, take a moment to appreciate just how much effort was put into the decorations around you.