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Behind the Glass: The Making of our Rockefeller Center Store Holiday Windows

Our dedicated team starts months in advance to plan and create these dazzling displays

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create an awe inspiring window display? Here at The Met store, designing our holiday window installation at Rockefeller Center requires special thought and care by our store design and environment team which begins months before the weather starts to cool and the holiday season sets in.

We chatted with Erin Thompson, The Met Store’s General Manager of Store Design and Environment to hear a bit about the process, and she even passed along a few of her sketches to give a behind the scenes peek into her process.

Don’t forget to visit our Rockefeller Center store for an up close and personal look at the final product, and to shop holiday gifts for everyone on your list. Can’t make it? Visit our holiday gift guide online by clicking here.


Erin’s preliminary concept sketch.

Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for the store windows at Rockefeller Center?

I wanted to inspire passersby to think of The Met Store for all their gifting solutions. Central to this goal was to create a warm and welcoming concept, adding a twist to a traditional window design. The idea to create an installation using our new packaging feels whimsical and instantly calls to mind the joy of gift giving.

RK Window 456

The design team’s initial technical sketches incorporating scale and exact layout.

What is special about designing for the Met Store at Rockefeller Center?

Rockefeller Center offers a key location for us to present our ideas to the public. As a high traffic tourist destination, this store demands us to create window designs that capture the imagination and create an impact on the customer in the few seconds it takes for someone to walk past our windows.

There are also dull but very practical site conditions to consider, like the fact that the windows are partially open backed, meaning customers can reach in and grab or touch the window installation; or that small children can crawl into the windows. We have to be extra careful about how we execute the creative idea on various levels, and these considerations often narrow down the parapets of what is possible (and not possible) in our window displays.


Here, the technical sketch becomes a designed mock up for final approval.

Can you tell me any interesting facts about the display?

The window installation required nearly 1000 gift boxes, 300 feet of ribbon, and required four days of bow tying alone! We also used aircraft cable at 1/16” thickness to hang the wreaths.


After the design was approved, the team set to creating this wreath as a test to sample the other wreaths and trees that would be built for the window display.


One of the final completed window displays at our Rockefeller Center Store.

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