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Digital Signage Improves Customer Experience

Feb 24, 2010 3:26 PM

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Southcentre Mall is located in Calgary, Alberta in the community of Willow Park. The mall offers a diverse mix of more than 200 highly acclaimed stores and services. It is the exclusive location for some of Calgary's most sought-after retailers including Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Coach, Bose, and Disney.

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Originally opened in 1974, Southcentre was in need of a remodel in order to bring it into line with the newer shopping centers in the Calgary area. Southcentre wanted to ensure they were providing an unparalleled shopping experience and maintaining their reputation as the preferred place to shop in the Calgary area. Since the mall had been in operation for more than 30 years, management felt that it was time to expand and update the facilities, so beginning in the fall of 2007, the mall underwent a $104 million renovation to bring it to the forefront of the upscale shopping destinations. Following completion of the renovation, the mall boasts just less than 1 million square feet of retail space.

The Vision

Southcentre’s main goals are to provide a unique facility, making the shopping experience more comfortable, more convenient and less stressful. Southcentre is a family-focused shopping center, dedicated to meeting customer's needs and building and sustaining a healthy, thriving community. Southcentre offers amenities such as family washrooms and nursing rooms, parent and tot parking stalls in the lot, complimentary strollers with children's programming, KidStop areas, interactive directories, complimentary wireless Internet, Comfy Kids Club, and Ticketmaster.

Even with all of these great shops and services available, the mall undeniably had an older feeling about it. Management felt that a complete redesign would not only ensure they had the best retailer shops and services available, but that they would also have the best shopping experience for their guests. The renovations were extensive and included architectural designs with warm textures and rich colours, better and more efficient lighting, top of the line beautiful washrooms, and a new 920 seat food court with soaring windows and themed comfort zones.

In addition to the renovations, there were some clearly defined pain points expressed by guests and retail store owners that needed to be addressed with the remodel, such as: an improved facility navigation, better access to mall information, improved visibility of retailers located in the mall, better visibility of promotions taking place at retail stores in the mall, and a better place for meeting, resting and entertainment within the mall.

Having seen other large retail environments use digital signage to achieve these goals, Southcentre felt that all of their goals for improving the customer experience and also continuing to appeal to the high-end retailers could be accomplished with digital signage.

Southcentre Mall conducted studies to determine where the most appropriate positions for screens would be throughout the facility. They wanted to address three key types of locations: those where people would be on the move, those where they needed quick access to information, and those where they would be stationary for a longer period of time. They positioned screens strategically throughout the facility at entrances, high traffic locations, and at the customer service desks. In the newly constructed center court meeting and relaxing area, they installed a feature 3x3 videowall using nine screens to provide a visually captivating and entertaining environment. They also created a sports zone area where sports fans could enjoy the latest from the sports world while taking a break for shopping. With the recent Olympic winter games’ going on this has proven to be a big hit.

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