Wegman’s Move to Montgomery Mall Drives Investment in Watchfire Digital Sign

The Montgomery Mall was built during the heyday of the multi-tenant retail boom. The facility is still thriving thanks to smart strategic planning and savvy investments in upgrades—the most recent being new signage with a 6-by-18-foot Watchfire XVS 19mm LED display that sites at the mall’s main entrance close to the highway and generates 480,000 exposures per month.

When Jack Fazio first came on board as general manager in 2012, the mall’s manual reader board was failing. The company that originally installed it had relocated to Florida, which made repairs time consuming, costly and frustrating. After enduring a year with no promotional signage out front, Fazio knew that a big change was necessary. He saw LED signs in the area and knew something similar would meet their needs with noticeable and colorful content.

As a multi-unit retail space, engaging the tenants was essential. They had recently acquired the first Wegman’s to be attached to a mall. Wegman’s, which has been named a top grocery chain by Consumer Reports, said they would utilize some of their advertising budget to purchase time on an LED sign for special promotions.

Maintaining the existing footprint of the older sign was key for Fazio, as was the rebranding needed to remain consistent with the mall’s parent company, Simon Properties. Working with Forman Signs, the new installation took up the same space as the previous signage but projected a more modern, vibrant look.

“We bid this project to three different companies. Two of them brought on-site demos so we could visual different resolutions in the space,” said Fazio. “When we saw the Watchfire demo, it was obvious that their product was sealed better, built better and had better image quality.”

The mall’s marketing department manages sales of spots on the sign, creates content, and schedules messages. Fazio developed a system that allows larger tenants to purchase a full year of spots, while also offering weekly packages that smaller retailers find affordable. The mall plans ahead to help tenants promote holiday sales and events, as well as other seasonal shopping advertising. All of their packages deliver a significantly lower cost per thousand impressions than other traditional media in the area.

Barry Jacobson with Forman Signs knew Simon Properties would be happy with their purchase. “We recommend Watchfire because they’re manufactured in the U.S. and have great customer service,” said Jacobson. “There are a lot of inexpensive LED signs out there, but we want to work with a company that stands behind their product and is in business for the long haul.”

For more information, visit www.watchfiresigns.com.