The Dune Group is one of the most influential global players in fashion footwear and accessories. The challenge for the Merchandising Department was how to bring the brand to life. As winners of Draper’s Multiple Footwear Retailer of the year 2014 they had a great reputation to uphold.
They decided it was time to move away from the traditional point of purchase signage and graphic lightboxes, and having previously used single landscape TVs decided to investigate the possibility of using video walls. These would allow them to show moving images as well as stills but also to change displays temporarily without the cost of printing and producing new graphics.
“Video is far more engaging and striking than the usual shop signage options,” explains Josh Uddin Senior Systems Administrator at Dune who was tasked with investigating the solution. “We’d never used video walls before so it was uncharted territory for us and at first we had no idea where to start.”
Josh came across Project Audio Visual during his online research and quickly got in touch and they were one of three companies that he decided to get in touch with.
“I was keen on them because they were independent. Not being tied to a particular brand meant that I was sure we could get the best solution, not just the one someone wanted to sell to us,” he continues.
Josh met with Steve Hudson, Project Audio Visual’s Sales Director, who discussed their requirements and helped them to explore what they wanted to achieve. Steve arranged for them to see the products at the company’s Demonstration Suite in Reading.
“It was great to see it in action and it was obvious to us that the best option to go for from a quality point of view was with 4K content.” says Josh. “The quality was so much better than normal HD which looks blurry on a big screen and since quality is what our brand is all about we felt there was no other option. This solution had its technical challenges too, 4K was a very new technology, but the guys were not deterred – they helped us find a solution.”
“We chose them over the other companies because they were happy to guide us through the process gently and deal with all our questions for us and, because this was new to us, there were a lot of questions. As well as that they understood we had a budget to work within and didn’t try to upsell us unnecessarily. Because they really listened and responded to us, it gave us confidence that we were in safe hands so in the end it was easy to choose them.
When it came to the installation, Josh initially liaised between Project Audio Visual, the shop designers 4by2, and the Merchandising Department,
“The shopfitting, as so often happens, slipped from the schedule but Project Audio Visual were really flexible, coming in at different times to do bits and pieces, but they just did what was necessary to get the job done and as a result it was completed on time.”
Project Audio Visual’s Steve Hudson takes up the story. “Because the store is a brand new refit this was relatively straightforward but equally we are able to accommodate time restraints. We recently installed a video wall in a store overnight so as not to impact on normal trading hours and we can also provide temporary and free standing displays.”
Dune’s final installation included eighteen LG 47-inch video screens mounted using Peerless full service mounts, Datapath controllers, which distribute the content to the screens, and the BrightSign XD1230 media player, which enables new content to be uploaded from a cloud-based system.
“The equipment is only half of the story though,” Steve points out. You can have the best kit but if the content is not good it’s pointless so we advised Dune’s Marketing Department and production company on the editing and formatting of their content.”
The Oxford Street store has a long thin layout and the final design incorporates two large video walls, each made up of 9 LG screens, on the back wall either side of the till counter.
Dune were delighted with the outcome, as Josh explains: “It looks fantastic and really makes a striking impression on the customers when they enter the shop. The media players are really simple to use and the fact that the content is held in the cloud makes it so easy to update from home or the office, even in our international stores can be instantly updated from here. What’s more, it will pay for itself in a year or two with the savings we will make on printing graphic panels and light-box vinyls”.
Since this installation in Oxford Street Project Audio Visual have supplied video walls for their stores in Argyll Street, London, Sheffield and New York, this time liaising directly with the shopfitters and architects.
“It is great that they can just get on with rolling the stores out without me having to be too involved. I just relax and let them get on with it,” Josh says.“ They know our expectations and how our shop fits work and I am totally confident that they won’t let us down.”
As a result Project Audio Visual are looking forward to being involved in Dune’s international refits going forward.
“I have seen from first hand experience that Project Audio Visual are able to live up to our pretty stiff standards and that they deliver what they say they will, on time, with great flexibility,” says Josh.
Dune are covered with a service contract which ensures that, should there be a problem, an engineer will visit within eight working hours, and since they stock spare parts most visits result in a successful repair or replacement.
“The equipment has been very reliable,” says Josh. However, they did have a chance to put them to the test recently “Our Marketing director noticed a screen was flickering and emailed. Within an hour he had a reply and someone was on their way. We haven’t had many problems but it is good to know that when we do need it, the service is excellent and just a phone call away.”
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