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All Wrapped Up: return of a Christmas tradition at the Bristol Audi showroom


Back by popular demand, Bristol Audi has officially installed its much-loved Christmas bow at its showroom in Cribbs Causeway. We chat to head of business Steve Smith about getting into the Christmas spirit and keeping retail alive.

When Bristol Audi moved to Cribbs Causeway in 2011, the team soon realised that if the showroom was going to fit in with the vibrant retail area during the festive season, a showstopping decoration was an absolute must.

Over the last 10 years, the team has gone all-out on wrapping a giant red bow, lined with bright lights, around the length and breadth of the showroom’s four glass walls, giving the impression that Bristol Audi itself is a present waiting to be opened.

Steve Smith, head of business at Bristol Audi, said: “In the past 10 years, there were only two years where we did something different. One year, we wrapped a car in a box on the forecourt and last year, under the circumstances, we simply decorated a Christmas tree. However, on both occasions we were inundated with messages asking about the giant bow’s whereabouts. Most of the comments said, “we only know Christmas is coming when the bow is up” – it was amazing really.

Steve Smith, head of business at Bristol Audi, said: “In the past 10 years, there were only two years where we did something different. One year, we wrapped a car in a box on the forecourt and last year, under the circumstances, we simply decorated a Christmas tree. However, on both occasions we were inundated with messages asking about the giant bow’s whereabouts. Most of the comments said, “we only know Christmas is coming when the bow is up” – it was amazing really.

Steve Smith, head of business at Bristol Audi

In Bristol and beyond, the showroom is well-known for its festive statement piece. “We had somebody from South Wales contact us saying they were coming to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway to do some Christmas shopping but wanted to wait until the bow was up as their kids love it,” Steve tells us with a smile. “Another from the midlands said when he comes to Bristol, the bow feels like the gateway to Christmas,” he adds.

In 2011, the team at Bristol Audi arranged for the bow to be specially made and have it replaced every three years. “We employ a local company to put it up securely and decorate it with lights – this has become tradition now,” Steve explains. “I was determined to install it a bit earlier this year as I, for one, certainly felt it would give both my team and our customers a lift after the dark days we have all faced during the pandemic.”

As well as taking pride in the showroom’s Christmas decorations, Steve and the team have always worked tirelessly to provide an outstanding in-store experience, determined to fight the death of the high street.

“There has been lots of noise about how online sales have replaced in-store shopping. I am a strong believer that there is still a case for the high street. Shopping can be an emotional purchase and should be a pleasurable experience that you can enjoy with your family. Regardless of whether you’re buying a pair of socks, a holiday or a new car, face-to-face contact, advice and interaction is certainly more memorable, and can never be totally replaced. This is why I feel as a local business we need to make an effort and play our part in keeping retail alive.

Our Christmas bow will be installed every year, regardless of cost in these challenging times. Local business filled with local employees serving the local community – that’s what it is all about”.

monmotors.com/audi; Lysander Road, Patchway, Bristol BS10 7FF

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