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Iain Kimmins

Christmas at Fortnum’s

The Christmas season at Fortnum & Mason’s kicked off this September

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It’s beginning to look like Christmas, and nobody does Christmas quite like Fortnum’s. This year is no exception. On Monday, Sept. 13, British department store Fortnum & Mason kicked off the festive season with the opening of its Christmas Shop. If you are the kind of person who simply loves Christmas, then this is the destination store for you! It’s definitely the tonic to get you into the festive mood.

Head to the third floor of this famous, iconic London landmark in Piccadilly where you will find a resplendent and sumptuous offering of stunningly beautifully created Christmas food hampers, gift wrap and Christmas cards, Advent calendars, and even branded festive puzzles and table games as well as beautiful Christmas decorations. These includes the retailer’s own range of decorations which take inspiration from the most iconic products, such as the famous F&M luxury picnic hamper, afternoon tea/cake stands and the clock on the exterior of the building.

After you have browsed and shopped for your decorations, gift wrap and greeting cards, head down to the first floor where you will find a department dedicated to festive feasting. Packed full of gorgeous and scrumptious delights to ensure your home is filled with magical treats this Christmas, you’ll find everything from plum Christmas pudding to pickled clementines to figgy mustard to champagne to chocolate truffles. It’s a feast!

Photography: Courtesy of Iain Kimmins, U.K.

The visual merchandising team have worked their magic on these floors by creating retail theater to capture this important time of year for retailers.

Fortnum’s legacy began in 1705 with Hugh Mason, derived from a small store in St. James Market and a spare room in Mason’s house, and the Fortnum family who had arrived in London as high-class builders reinvigorating Mayfair in the wake of the Great Fire. William Fortnum, who was quite the entrepreneur, also took a post as Footman in Queen Anne’s household and in Mason’s spare room, where Fortnum met Mason.

Finding itself perfectly placed in London for travelers heading west, our young enterprise set itself the task to capitalize on creating food that was easily portable for long distance journeys. Coming up with numerous ideas, Fortnum and his staff developed the smart idea of wrapping a hard-boiled egg in sausage meat and coating it in fried breadcrumbs, the world’s first Scotch Egg. Tasty, filling and portable, it proved to be just as popular then as it is today.

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In London, Fortnum’s remains a quintessential English store with a global palate of food lovers. So a visit to London would not be complete without a spending a few hours in this delicious store!

Iain Kimmins is a creative visual merchandising professional with experience working for stores such as Harrods and Selfridges in London to Tangs in Singapore. As the Owner/Founder of consultancy Creative Download, as well as serving as the Chair of The British Display Society, Iain has worked on projects in Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, New York, Dubai and Shanghai, among others. Iain’s passion and enthusiasm for retail is not only about being creative, but being commercially aware as a key driver for the retail sector. www.creative-download.co.uk | www.britishdisplaysociety.co.uk

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