Bram, the fashion retailer in the City Concorde shopping mall, is getting ready for Christmas
Photo: Maison Moderne
A team of 10 is in charge of the Christmas decorations at Bram, the fashion store which holds multiple brands, from ready to wear to haute couture, in the Concorde shopping mall.
Photo: Maison Moderne
Simone Pletz, the leader of the team, decided to go with a do-it-yourself theme: all their Christmas trees and star decorations have been rolled and folded by the staff. The paper is the same as the gift paper: “Bram gold” with its insignia. They added a wallpaper which was made especially for them, and which now adorns a few select dividing walls throughout the 11,000 square metre retail space, she told Delano during a visit to the shop on Monday.
They have made 70 small and 30 big Christmas trees; one employee thinks it takes them around half a day to make a big one. In total, they must have done around 50,000 paper rolls to set up their own unique trees.
“The idea was to get away from the traditional green Christmas tree with its bulbs”, Pletz explained. They use a metal frame and then wrap around some chicken wire, to which they stick the paper rolls. They already started building them in September, but they were put on display after All Saints’ Day, at the beginning of November.
However, they’re still not finished; Pletz reckons it will take them until the beginning of December to have it all ready. However, she warned that these paper Christmas trees also lose their “needles”: some paper rolls do fall off and the team does a round every morning to collect any fallen ones.
One of the stockrooms contains an eerie collection of mannequins, all neatly stacked in various poses. It also houses elements of previous decorating schemes, such as brass leaves and deer antlers. Pletz said that they may be sold to employees or taken to Troc, the secondhand store, or sometimes they would also keep them and re-use them in other motifs.
Pascale Welter, one of Bram’s longest serving employees, explained that the Christmas period is one of the most lucrative for retail. “Luxembourgers still like the gift of giving”, she said with a smile. She added that there is always a rush during the week before Christmas. This last-minute shopping is a “big boom” for the shop.
As she is in charge of personnel as well in her department, she must ensure everything runs smoothly. Staff cannot take holidays in December, but they make sure that no one works more than 5 days in a row. Welter stated that they are always looking for apprentices in sales, and while she started out as a sales person, her responsibilities have grown over the years, and that the job is a passion.
While they don’t hire new staff for the Christmas period, they do take on people, mostly students, to do the gift wrapping. On especially good days, they can wrap up to 500 to 600 gifts.