I don’t really like shopping and so Christmas shopping is probably my second worst annual event behind sale shopping. However, on Friday I was invited to attend the launch of department store Myers new Christmas concept store in Sydney. The Giftorium is a unique concept in Australian retailing and was developed to bring back fun and theatre to Christmas shopping. Well this was a huge proclamation that I just had to see to believe.

I took my two kids along, something of a brave step for me, as I avoid any kind of retail experience with them, unless life depends on it. So tackling a press launch at Myer was, to my husband, a fool hardy under taking.

‘Tis the season to be jolly

How wrong he was! A glass of champers took the edge off me and the kids were rapidly entertained by face-painting, magicians, remote controlled dinosaurs. It was only the singing elves that slightly unhinged my two year old. The character staff is all part of the Giftorium experience, expertly trained Gifticians and Producticians have been deployed in store, some will be wearing quirky Christmas uniforms.

These Gifticians and Producticians are designed to make shopping easier. Gifticians are gift giving experts helping customers choose the perfect present. Producticians will be on hand to provide product demonstrations and reveal the latest must-have Christmas gift ideas, sourced from around the world. If you live and work in the CBD or within a 2km radius of the Myer you can have your gift delivered by an Elf!

Despite the ‘elf wobble’ the kids were occupied and we ended up staying at Myer for hours. I realised that they had never been given free reign in a toy store of this magnitude – all their favourite characters and toys were on display that they could touch and play with. The kids were mesmerised by the magician and made a mess of the Sands Alive! display but no one minded…

Sands Alive! is a something between sand and play doh. It has the texture of Jervis Bay white sand but lighter and fluffier. Whatever formula its makers have developed means it doesn’t fall apart, so there is no mess. It’s easy to mould and shape and can be used over and over again. Pretty cool stuff.

Sands Alive! is just one of the new products in store. Myer is also the new sole distributer of Mr Men & Little Miss products in Australia.

Family fun weekends

Inspired by the truly great international department stores, Myer is offering an extensive program this Christmas combining services, in-store events and a huge array of gifting and festive related products.

From 8 November, every Myer store around the country will schedule a whole host of fun activities for the whole family (on weekends and selected key dates).

Activities include children’s face painting, balloon artists, musical performances, Christmas tree and table dressing demonstrations, appearances from children’s characters, cosmetic workshops and children’s Christmas book readings.

You will even be able to book a time to meet Santa (all downtown stores) online via Myer’s Giftorium microsite.

The level of engagement with the blogging community was fantastic, so if Myer keep this service up for the general punters, I think they will succeed in their mission to bring fun back to Christmas shopping.

Look out for Giftorium Opening Weekend Events – 8 November 2014 – at a Myer store near you:

Melbourne: The Face of Myer, Jennifer Hawkins, will unveil the world famous Myer Melbourne animated Christmas Windows, followed by a performance from The Voice winner Harrison Craig and the arrival of Santa.
Sydney: One of Australia’s most popular music stars, Guy Sebastian, will perform in the Pitt Street Mall to celebrate the Myer Christmas Giftorium.

Soon to be announced star performances at the Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide stores.