Retail Stores Go Digital to Attract Customers

A waterfall array of Christie® MicroTiles® is inviting shoppers into the retail stores of Canadian media giant Shaw Communications, where the digital display technology educates customers about the Shaw universe that includes cable television, Internet, and phone service.

Since the first 4-units high by 6-units wide array was installed in May at the Sunridge Mall store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the unique waterfall displays are now up and operating in three more Shaw retail locations in Alberta and British Columbia, with more installations planned in the future.

“We wanted to make the stores exciting enough so the customer would look at the displays and see a reason to walk into the store,” said James Ferguson, national director, Retail, Shaw Communications.

Shaw decided to use Christie MicroTiles because it wanted a leg up on the other stores. Plus Applied Electronics had already installed a 4-high by 10-wide MicroTiles array in Global Television's (Shaw is parent company of Global Television) Toronto studio for its morning news show, and Shaw was impressed by the display. “It was an easy decision for the visionaries at

Shaw,” says Stephen Monteith, AV design and sales representative at Applied Electronics. “They immediately realized how the MicroTiles could be used in unique ways within the stores to capture the audiences' attention."

The next decision was where to place the display and what to show on it. Rather than have all 24 MicroTiles depicting one piece of content simultaneously, Ferguson opted for a waterfall effect with the tiles slightly staggered with gaps along the X, Y, and Z access in a special bracket designed by RP Visuals.

Content including media, innovative new products and services, in-market offers, and community initiatives are shown as individual thumbnails on the MicroTiles, allowing each piece of content to cascade across the whole screen, before pulsing back into one thumbnail. Hanging from the ceiling in each store, the waterfall configurations catch the attention of those who enter the store and pass by.

“We wanted to give our video people a cool 'sandbox' to play in that provided content versatility and didn't limit their imagination,” said Ferguson. "Our customers love it and their eyes are drawn to it because it is so different from what they are used to seeing. There is an old adage in retail that customers don't look up—but in this case they do because the MicroTiles display is different, flashy, and it has content that draws their eye to it."


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