- Leading European festive decoration company to complement AFKAR Lighting
- CELS Group targets turnover of $35m in 2020 and $44m by 2022
CELS Group has recently acquired 100% shares of First Christmas by Rosenau GmbH – one of Europe’s leading festive decoration company – along with its GCC branch, Retail Emotions.
First Christmas was founded in Hamburg, Germany, and has over 20 years of experience in creating spectacular holiday and seasonal decorations, digital installations and special events for shopping centres, airports, hotels, cities and retail chains around the world, and has won over 20 International Council of Shopping Centre (ICSC) awards, including European and worldwide marketing gold medals.
With the acquisition of First Christmas/Retail Emotions, and combined with AFKAR Lighting, its in-house original festive lighting, handcrafted decorations and multimedia settings firm founded in Italy and based in the Gulf region, and with offices in Dubai, Doha, Milan, Riyadh, London and now Hamburg, CELS Group is now the largest festive light décor company in the Middle East and can offer a wider set of décor solutions and opportunities to its clients in Europe with First Christmas and in the Middle East with Retail Emotions (both offering customised design solutions) and AFKAR Lighting (offering rental and installation solutions).
With the growth of CELS Group a new umbrella company has been created, known at CELS Lights & Décor to consolidate the three festive light décor solutions. First Christmas/Retail Emotions is valued at $5.55m, with a total turnover of $14.45m. The acquisition is also poised to boost CELS Group’s turnover from $20m to $31m, with a target of $35m in 2020 and $44m by 2022.
Hailing the acquisition, Alessandro Gaffuri, Founder & CEO, CELS Group, said: “CELS Group, together with First Christmas/Retail Emotions and AFKAR Lighting will light up the world. Lighting tells stories. It is a brilliant way to express a brand and its identity. At CELS Group we believe there is nothing more powerful than light when it comes to inspiring visitors.
“We craft bespoke lighting experiences that reflect a brand’s values and strengthen the brand’s bond with the community. We specialise in creating original festive lighting, handcrafted decorations, and multimedia setups. Over the years we have delivered numerous customised lighting experiences for shopping malls, hotels, leisure hubs, cultural attractions and public venues,” Gaffuri added.
Together with AFKAR Lighting, CELS Lights & Decor will now leverage First Christmas/Retail Emotions to completely adapt to clients’ needs in terms of design and production while having the capacity to produce in Europe and also locally, in order to secure and fulfill last-minute clients’ requests.
First Christmas/Retail Emotions has built a reputation for itself in shopping malls, cities, airports, hotels, resorts and mixed-use developments in various European countries with outstanding decorations, such as the famous 7m high angels at the Almada Forum in Lisbon, the award-winning Christmas installation in Stadshart Amstelveen, Amsterdam, decorations at the Orio Centre in Milan, the GUM on Moscow’s Red Square and the Vremena Goda awarded by the Mayor of Moscow, all the mega malls in Russia, The Mall Athens, Westfield in London and many other centres all over Europe. In addition to reaching the Middle East including Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi and Kingdom Center in Riyadh.
In business from 1999 in Europe and from 2013 in the Gulf region where it operates three warehouses, AFKAR Lighting takes care of the whole décor process, from the brief to design, the approval process, technical site inspections, account management, production, logistics and installation/dismantling.
With highly skilled and experienced personnel on the ground in the region AFKAR Lighting has successfully delivered the best holiday and festive decorations ever seen in the region, including The Dubai Mall, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing for Dubai, 360 Mall in Kuwait, Qatar Tourism Authority and Katara Cultural Village in Doha, among others.