Fresh®, a unique brand within the LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton luxury group, is using multi-sensory experiences in its newly renovated flagship store in New York City, and Christie® MicroTiles® are helping the beauty brand to pioneer new trends in the retail industry by combining old world sensibility with next-generation technology. Two innovative Christie MicroTiles displays complement the store’s four interactive “destinations” to excite the senses of sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch. Ultimately the MicroTiles’ brilliant colors, sharp images and tactile-friendly surfaces encourage customers to linger and interact.
“We wanted to animate the Fresh brand visually and texturally and revitalize its core values that reflect an appreciation for tradition, storytelling, and innovation,” commented Fresh Founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. “We really love how Christie MicroTiles blend in perfectly with the architecture of the store and our products—they are not shiny or glossy like typical LCD and plasma screens, but bring an understated elegance that adds to the immersive, sensory-rich experience of the environment. After installing them in the flagship Union Square store, we are now in a multi-store rollout from the U.S. to Asia.”
Installed by Christie Managed Services and Materials & Methods, following original designs by the architectural firm of Mapos LLC, the Fresh store’s groundbreaking retail space seamlessly integrates the cutting-edge technology of Christie MicroTiles with authentic, old world fixtures including a custom chandelier; several walls showcasing customer-created wallpaper; and the “Sensorial Bar,” which houses once-discontinued fragrances available “on tap” for customers to fill mini artisanal bottles with their favorites. These unique and innovative destinations within the store are surrounded by eco-conscious materials and energy-efficient LED lighting.
According to Caleb Mulvena, principal and co-founder, Mapos LLC., their firm’s initial task was to conceive and develop an entirely new retail concept for Fresh. “Christie MicroTiles were the only visual products that Fresh considered nonpareil for its stores because they offer elegance, architectural quality, Pantone color matching—high-impact visual element with an unassuming quality,” he said.
The Christie MicroTiles design encompass a 3 wide-by-8 high array (4-by-8 feet) Storytelling Wall at the back of the store and a 9-tile front of store display, both of which can be seen from the street and draw passersby inside. MicroTiles in the 9-tile display are evenly spread out in a novel tile-space-tile-space pattern that immediately catches the eye. The media wall is a “Moving Canvas” where the Fresh stories come to life through newly created film and video footage. Customers can also learn more about the origins and benefits of Fresh products by surfing fresh.com on provided iPads.
“Christie MicroTiles have a ‘magic invisibility’ that integrates them into the fixture, so that customers no longer see the technology but the content,” added Mulvena. “They have a painterly quality to them that seamlessly communicate the Fresh message to customers, focusing them on the content without distracting from the fixtures or the products. They can exist in a very intimate space—their essentially limitless resolution allows people to walk up to them and read as though they were reading from a piece of paper.”
Jeff Grantz of Materials & Methods—and a specialist in dynamic media installations—worked with Fresh’s design team on the integration of MicroTiles into the space. “Fresh wasn’t originally going to implement digital signage because video monitors, such as flat panels and plasmas, were not refined enough for their brand,” he said. “However they were drawn to MicroTiles because they maintained the very natural looking qualities of their ingredients and product imagery. The designed environment was intended to be very clean, like a modern apothecary store.
“MicroTiles were the only technology that could support digital video and be seamlessly integrated into the surroundings. We ultimately wanted to present beautiful images and video, but have the technology disappear. The clients were ecstatic about the end result, and with the assistance of Christie Managed Services, this installation of MicroTiles was one of the easiest projects we’ve ever done.”
Exceptionally bright, Christie MicroTiles feature a nearly invisible 1mm gap between video tiles and can be assembled in unique configurations to meet retailers’ needs for show-stopping video signage of any shape and size from several feet to hundreds of feet wide. They are found in sports settings such as the Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum; educational facilities such as Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. and New York State’s Clarkson University; at Calvin Klein’s New York City flagship store, New York City’s Fashion Week, including Fashion icon’s Bruce Weber’s launch party; TV’s The Colbert Report; and at the Kodak Theatre for Cirque du Soleil’s debut production “IRIS.”
“Christie Managed Services is pleased to play an integral role in the re-imagining of the Fresh retail environment, providing expert technical installation and consultation,” said Sean James, vice president of Christie Managed Services. “In keeping with the Fresh eco-friendly philosophy, Christie MicroTiles also have long life, a low operating cost, and are easy to maintain, offering valuable peace of mind. Their unique, modular design and narrow depth allow them to be configured and installed in a wide range of environments, to deliver striking, visually dynamic messaging and an unparalleled sensory experience.”
To learn more about this digital signage application, visit www.christiedigital.com.
* Photo (top) courtesy of Jean-Marc Plisson.