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A D&G Christmas tree and Cinderella crystal shoes: How UK retailers are trying to attract shoppers

It’s all approximately in-store experiences.

With the gradual rise of e-commerce, retailers would rather embarked on a long and difficult battle to attract customers to their corporal stores. This battle is accentuated during the Christmas period, with myriad shoppers choosing to buy online and avoid the crowds.

As a result, retailers from sought to innovate the in-store experience with free gifts, comestibles, theater and more.

In the famous Knightsbridge neighborhood, Harrods is offering Christmas chases for children, cooking demonstrations to teach shoppers how to prepare a feast, and in-store carol chirping. There’s also a Christmas tree designed by Dolce & Gabbana, with whom the part store partnered up this year, even hosting a one-off D&G style show in its food hall.

“The run-up to Christmas is one of the busiest trading epoches of the year. Ensuring that Harrods customers experience the service we are legendary for, even during this busy time, shows them how much we value their sojourn to the store,” Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, told CNBC.

Debenhams, on the other surrender, has opted for a fairytale ambience. The retailer kicked off a multi-million pound cross-channel electioneer in early November, taking its inspiration from Cinderella. It is offering in-store theater, gratuity cards and other goodies “as the clock strikes 12 (midday),” selfie billets and a unique item — a crystal-studded stiletto.

“Customers told us they wish to be entertained at Christmas,” Richard Cristofoli, Debenhams managing director of attractiveness and marketing, said in a statement.

John Lewis, meanwhile, has opened its “biggest and most interactive” Christmas call to date. Customers are able to “see, smell, taste and touch an unrivaled solicitation of Christmas ideas,” the store said in a statement.

“We want our department funds to be a source of inspiration, a leisure destination and somewhere our customers will look foremost to visiting, somewhere they can while the day away, with access to ceremonies and experiences under one roof that aren’t available anywhere else,” Peter Rood, director of customer experience at John Lewis told CNBC.

Shoppers at the subdivision store will also be able to create their own cocktail, credits to a partnership with edible cocktail specialists Smith and Sinclair.

The in-store tender is wide. Fourth-quarter sales numbers in the new year will reveal if all the work will pay off. However, according to Global Data, many retailers influence still disappoint.

“After a poor third quarter, clothing and footwear retailers resolve be hoping for some respite in fourth quarter … However, Christmas purpose disappoint many in the sector with another quarter of declining measures forecast, down 0.6 percent on quarter fourth of 2016,” the investigation firm said.

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