“On the local market it is difficult to educate people about anticipating and solving problems in time,” says Andreea Radoi, GM of Grandeko Media. Elsewhere, decoration contracts are closed about two or three months before the season, which is impossible in Romania, at least at the moment. Moreover, the role and importance of decorations in increasing sales, attracting customers, increasing loyalty and building a brand image that suits the customer are still not sufficiently understood. “But on the other hand, it is a market that has barely started to develop and offers a wide range of opportunities,” she said.
With three permanent employees and over 10 collaborators, Grandeko Media specializes in decorations for the galleries of hypermarkets, malls and the office buildings of multinational companies, offering a full service in this area. This includes the offer, import of items from Germany and France, production of decorations to order, advice on the image of the space, assembly of the decorations with the firm's own team of specialists and equipment, service, taking down the decorations and storing them at request.
Decorations are brought mainly from suppliers in Germany and lights are brought from France, chosen on criteria such as quality, price, appearance, brand association, the customer's preferences, the theme and colors, harmonization with the other decorations, size and suitability for the respective space.
“With some malls we sign contracts for one year which include space decoration four times a year – spring including Easter, summer, fall and winter including Christmas. But most of the galleries and stores prefer to sign one contract per season. I think it offers them the feeling of freedom of choice,” says Radoi.
Stefani House, based in Constanta, decorated all the hypermarkets in the Carrefour network last year. Since 2001 the firm has decorated Carrefour Militari commercial galleries for the winter holidays, Valentine's Day, March 1-8 and Easter. On top of this, it will also be in charge of the decorations for Valentine's Day in Carrefour Militari. The company comes up with the decorations that will embellish the hypermarket. “Ninety- eight percent of our products are imported,” says Mariana Stefano, a representative of the company. “The other 2 percent represents small completions from the local market for last-minute orders, but these cases are very rare.”
“Holiday for us does not just mean the winter holidays,” says Stefano, adding that following a short break, contracts are signed for Valentine's Day, then for the period March 1-8, after which preparations are made for Easter.
Contracts between the respective mall or hypermarket and the decoration company are signed following the presentation of projects. “To get customers, a company needs to be talked about on the market. I think this is what happened with us; after the first project, we were talked about and then we were asked to present other projects over the years,” says Stefano.
While this is one of the firm's major activities, it is not the only one: Stefani House also sells home and office gifts and produces and creates accessories for wedding and baptism ceremonies to complete its service portfolio.
One characteristic of these companies is that financial estimates are hard to make. Radoi says that a medium-decoration contract for a mall amounts to EUR 15,000-20,000 for each of the holiday seasons, except Christmas, when it reaches EUR 30,000. A contract for the exterior decoration with lights of a mall can bring in between EUR 4,000 and 10,000 depending on the size of the building.