Preparing for Christmas; busy times ahead!

MK Illumination, headquartered in Austria and operating in 23 national markets, develops festive conceptual lighting: high-quality decorative lighting which enhances brand positioning and customer experience at shopping centers. In the lead up to their busiest sales periods of the year, namely Christmas and New Year, REP spoke with Thomas Mark, Co-Owner of MK Illumination and Anita Stampfl, Senior Manager Communications and External Relations, about the company's growth, products and new trends.

Thomas Mark

Thomas Mark.

What was the origin and idea behind the company?
Thomas Mark: The idea was formed by my twin brother Klaus about 15 years ago. He started his own company that supplied professional lighting. A bit like Microsoft, the company started in a garage in Weer, Austria. At that time, MK Illumination was the first company to supply high-quality rubber lighting chains. Within six months I joined the company as well – and we are now co-owners of MK Illumination. The company remains a family-owned business and we're now successfully operating in 23 markets internationally.

What is the business model?
Thomas Mark: We have our HQ in Innsbruck, Austria. The subsidiaries are majority owned by the headquarters.


Anita Stampfl.

What are the trends in lighting?
Anita Stampfl: The trend at the moment in most western countries is going back to traditional Christmas, but with a modern twist – warm white with its golden glow – creating a welcoming atmosphere. Our LED warm white has a consistent 'warm white' tone, and despite its considerably lower energy consumption, the effect is strikingly similar to a traditional light bulb. In Nordic countries the taste is towards brilliant white and more subtle decoration. Clear and streamlined decorations are key here. Turkey, Russia and Ukraine decorate for the New Year and not Christmas – the trend is more colorful and focuses on opulent decorations. The same goes for the SEE countries – more colorful, but due to the financial situation not always that opulent. Eastern European countries – especially shopping centers in this region – are putting great emphasis on Christmas decoration and here we see a mixture of warm white and brilliant white with a splash of colorful decorative elements.

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