The function and fate of high-street shops are the subject of discussion and debate within retail firms. Where should physical stores be retained? What should these stores look like? And what can customers expect to find there? Retail is both an economic sector and a social activity: it involves not just purchasing, selling or exchanging goods or services, but also frequenting particular places and establishing social relations. Trade is therefore about more than just mercantile exchanges, leading to phenomena such as “retailtainment”. Furthermore, come December, department-store window displays and Christmas markets are key indicators of “retailtainment” zones and the functions of these spaces, with stores and shopping centres helping to stage the social rites associated with the festive season.