The countdown to Christmas is officially on, and who better to get tips on holiday retailing than Arnault Castel, founder of one of Hong Kong and Singapore’s coolest multi-brand retailers, kapok.

Watch the video above to see what kapok has planned for Christmas, or read the highlights from our interview below.

When we planned the retail mix… it’s always important to have something that people have not seen before. Gifts are a big part of the business, so we took care of the buying a long time in advance — about six to nine months before.

Every year, we try to find… five to six brands that are completely new and we only release them during Christmas and people get excited. Excitement and Christmas are very important.

For a few years, we started working with designers… who are doing all the graphics, store design, layout and wrapping.

SEE ALSO: Arnault Castel of kapok on how it all started

This year we are working with… a young illustrator, Isabel Foo. She’s someone I met a few months ago — [her work] is clean, cute and fun, so I thought she would be perfect.

Most of our stores are not in the main shopping areas… so that’s why we use social media. It’s very different from being on the main road — we have to do a lot of marketing in advance.

Online shopping will never replace an in-store experience because… First, I think people are very late to choose gifts, and to be honest, the 24th [of December] is the biggest day in the year in terms of sales.

Christmas isn’t just about buying… it’s about having a good mood. That’s why we always have a xmas party every year, where we try to make it fun and more exciting than just having a glass of champagne somewhere.

Watch this video to see what’s in store for kapok’s Christmas party coming up on Thursday, 8 December 2016 and be sure to RSVP here.