By Peter Saunders
For evidence of the ubiquity of digital signage technology, one need look no further than the new 7,432-m2 (80,000-sf) Sport Chek/Atmosphere athletic goods store in the West Edmonton Mall, which opened on February 5, 2014. Intended to offer a more interactive experience to shoppers, it features no less than 800 screens populated by 220 channels, displaying a vast range of product images and deals.
In total, the in-store digital signage network includes 470 stand-alone screens, 250 computers, 80 tablets, 24 large-format tablets and more than 111.5 m2 (1,200 sf) of digital projections. Transparent product boxes display digitally overlaid content, for example, while an Under Armour mannequin features video projections created by Cineplex Digital Media (CDM).
Touch screens allow customers to source product details, including in-stock sizes and colours. They need not worry about being left to their self-serve devices, however, as the store is also staffed by 250 employees to add further value beyond the digital displays through more detailed and personalized service.
“Our new flagship store is the most digitally advanced and personalized retail experience in the world,” claims Michael Medine, president of parent company Canadian Tire. (Sport Chek and Atmosphere are both among the FGL Sports retail banners Canadian Tire acquired in 2011.)
To support the many displays throughout the store, FGL is using software and media players from Stratacache. The companies had previously worked together on an award-winning digital signage deployment for a redesigned Sport Chek flagship store in Toronto, which opened in January 2013 and was intended to serve as a ‘retail lab’ to test new merchandising concepts.
“We are very excited to work with Sport Chek on the Edmonton flagship store,” says Chris Riegel, CEO of Stratacache. “As the provider of their content management system, we understand the innovation and hard work that go into tackling this in-store technology. Digital is the next step for retail. Sport Chek understands this and has proven they can lead.”