Perhaps it is a sense of tradition. Holiday windows date back as far as the 1840s, when stores decorated their windows with evergreen and wrapped gifts. In the 18070s L.P. Tibbals' toy store installed mechanical steam toy trains for the public to gape at, and Macy’s spent close to $10,000 decorating its holiday windows with imported dolls.
But a more likely justification for spending on windows is that retailers hope to drive positive word-of-mouth – including on blogs and websites that cover retailing like trendhunter.com.
With Christmas drawing near, Trend Hunter was recently cited on MSNBC within a feature about the effectiveness of holiday window displays. Although these intricately designed displays have not been proven to drive up the seasonal sales, companies continue to spend large amounts of money on them, believing that they would increase their publicity. The article explains that the appreciation of these designs are often spread over the Internet, making the stores with the most creative displays more well-known amongst its competitors.